The Editors of Focaal asked me to comment on the recent award of a so-called Nobel Prize in economic sciences to Oliver Williamson, a founder of New Institutional Economics (NIE), and Elinor Ostrom, a political scientist who is best known for her work on “common property regimes” and “public entrepreneurs.” The committee of the Bank of Sweden commended the two of them for their work on “economic governance,” which has reshaped how economists think about the nature of the firm and the boundaries between private and public institutions.

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