When Elinor Ostrom, 76, known for her work on the management of common resources, became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in economics, the Lincoln Institute took special notice. Ostrom, a political scientist at Indiana University who showed how common resources – forests, fisheries, oilfields, grazing lands and irrigation systems – can be managed successfully by the people who use them, rather than by governments or private companies, was a keynote speaker in the 2008 Land Policy Conference on property rights. Her chapter in the ensuing volume Property Rights and Land Policies, “Design Principles of Robust Property Rights Institutions: What Have We Learned?” reviews the design principles for successful self-organized common property institutions, and evaluates how those principles can be applied in more than two-dozen case studies. The Lincoln Institute then supported three associates of Ostrom’s -- Michael Cox, Gwen Arnold, and Sergio Villamayor Tomas -- who extended the survey of the eight principles’ applicability in dozens more cases. The research is reported in the working paper “Design Principles are not Blue Prints, but are They Robust? A Meta-analysis of 112 Studies”. Ostrom is also helping organize a future gathering, Evolution of Property Rights Related to Land and Natural Resources, set for September 20-21, 2010 in Cambridge. The conference will bring together prominent scholars in economics, political science, history, and law, to focus on how various property systems are applied to and affect the use of scarce natural resources. Professor Douglass C. North, professor at Washington University in St. Louis and the co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, will speak at the pre-conference dinner, and New York University professor Thrainn Eggertsson will deliver a keynote address on issues related to property rights institutions and the environment.