Elinor Ostrom, 76, known for her work on the management of common resources, is the first woman to win a Nobel in economics. She shares this year's prize with Oliver Williamson, 77, who pioneered the study of how and why companies structure themselves and how they resolve conflicts.
Ostrom's work illustrated how natural resources (forests, fisheries, oilfields, grazing lands and irrigation systems) are best managed by the people who use them, rather than private companies or governments.
According to the AP, Williamson, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, focused on how companies and markets differ in resolving conflicts. He found that companies are typically better able than markets to resolve conflicts when competition is limited, the citation said.