2 Nobel winners may shape financial crisis debate

Financial Crisis Posted on

One scholar studies how best to manage resources like forests, fisheries and oilfields. A fellow American looks at why some companies grow so large. Together they're winners of this year's Nobel Prize in economics for groundbreaking work that could affect efforts to prevent another global financial crisis.

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.

Monday's final prizes of 2009 capped a year in which a record five women won Nobels. And it was an exceptionally strong year for the United States, too. Eleven American citizens, some of them with dual nationality, were among the 13 Nobel winners, including President Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said it chose Ostrom and Williamson for work that "advanced economic governance research from the fringe to the forefront of scientific attention." They will share the $1.4 million prize.

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