These days everyone seems to be caught up in the Obama Peace Prize hullabaloo: He's only been in office for 9 months! How do we know he deserves it? What if he surges the troops in Afghanistan? Personally, I couldn't care less. By now, the Nobel Peace Prize is right up there with the Grammys in the respectability category (or lack thereof), and the prize has a history of rewarding American Imperialism. The original war-mongering president Teddy Roosevelt won one, for Pete's sake. In the irony category, the prize in economics often seems to follow suit, so my jaded trust in the Scandinavian art of prize-giving was pleasantly proven wrong today when I read that Elinor Ostrom became the first woman ever to win the Nobel Prize in Economics.
This prize is exciting partly because Ms. Ostrom is the first woman to win it, but not just because of that. Her winning this prize will hopefully help to highlight women's voices in a field that is desperate for them, and the noble work this Nobel is rewarding will hopefully change the way we think about economics in general.