The workshop on Sympathy that I hosted earlier in the week was saddened by the announcement by Vernon Smith that Elinor Ostrom had passed away. (For Prof. Smith's comments on her together with a useful interview with her and her husband, see here.) She co-won a Nobel in economics in 2009, even though many economists knew little of her work (weirdly this is the main focus of the NYT obituary devoted to her); recall Levitt's comments. It is difficult not to reduce her life's work to symbolism: she is the first and only woman to win the Nobel in economics; she used (anthropological) field work in combination with historical methods in her research; she had basic faith in the capacities of ordinary people to solve their problems without resorting to state violence or corporate control; she promoted collaborative methods; she re-invented development economics, and in a field dominated by journal articles, she published some of her most important ideas in books. (For a good introduction to the significance of her work, see here and, especially Pete Boettke, here.) One day, I hope economists and the policy-makers they advice will move beyond the now tired opposition between Keynes vs Friedman (or Hayek), and will explore the Ostroms' ideas on the institutions that can make self-government possible. Her research, which is a grand contribution to political economy, is the foundation for any responsible work in political anarchism and libertarianism.