Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: June 2014

21 - Learning from the Field


Let me first extend my thanks to Michael Szenberg and his colleagues for inviting me to contribute a chapter to this distinguished volume. It has given me an opportunity to rethink some of the foundations of my own work.

While many of the economists who have contributed to this volume began their academic journeys in high school or college, mine did not begin until I was a graduate student at UCLA in the early 1960s. As a poor kid born in the Depression (1933), my early years were focused primarily on survival. We were fortunate to have a relatively large backyard in our home in Los Angeles, where we had a variety of fruit trees and room to plant a vegetable garden. As a kid, I learned how to garden and also how to preserve fruits by standing over a hot stove to can them. Now I must confess that the long, hot August days that I spent canning peaches and apricots are not my favorite memories of my childhood, but I certainly learned a lot about the household economics of a poor family – long before I studied these problems in developing countries.

Anderson, William and Weidner, Edward (1950). American City Government. New York: Henry Holt.
Arrow, Kenneth J. (1951). Social Choice and Individual Values. New York: John Wiley.
Bain, Joe S. (1959). Industrial Organization. New York: John Wiley.
Bish, Robert (1971). The Public Economy of Metropolitan Areas. Chicago: Markham.
Blomquist, William (1992). Dividing the Waters: Governing Groundwater in Southern California. San Francisco: ICS Press.
Blomquist, William and Ostrom, Elinor (2008). “Deliberation, Learning, and Institutional Change: The Evolution of Institutions in Judicial Settings,” Constitutional Political Economy 19, no. 3: 180–202.
Brennan, Geoffrey and Buchanan, James (1985). The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Buchanan, James M. (1968). The Demand and Supply of Public Goods. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Buchanan, James M. and Tullock, Gordon (1962). The Calculus of Consent. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Caves, Richard (1964). American Industry: Structure, Conduct, Performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Ciriacy-Wantrup, Siegfried V. (1952). Resource Conservation, Economics, and Policies. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Committee for Economic Development (1970). Reshaping Government in Metropolitan Areas. New York: Committee for Economic Development.
Committee for Economic Development (1972). Reducing Crime and Assuring Justice. New York: Committee for Economic Development.
Friesema, H. Paul (1966). “The Metropolis and the Maze of Local Government,” Urban Affairs Quarterly 2: 68–90.
Gulick, Luther (1957). “Metropolitan Organization,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 314: 57–65.
Hardin, Garrett (1968). “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859: 1243–1248.
Hawley, Amos H. and Zimmer, Basil G. (1970). The Metropolitan Community: Its People and Government. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Hirshleifer, Jack, DeHaven, James C., and Milliman, Jerome (1960). Water Supply: Economics, Technology and Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
IsHak, Samir (1972). “Consumers’ Perception of Police Performance: Consolidation vs. Deconcentration – The Case of Grand Rapids, Michigan Metropolitan Area.” PhD dissertation, Indiana University.
Knight, Frank H. (1921). Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Margolis, Julius (1964). “The Structure of Government and Public Investment.” American Economic Review 54 (May): 236–342.
McKean, Roland N. (1964). “Divergences between Institution and Total Costs within Government,” American Economic Review 54 (May): 243–249.
Musgrave, Richard. 1959. The Theory of Public Finance: A Study in Public Economy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals (1973). Report on Police. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.
North, Douglass C. (1978). “Structure and Performance: The Task of Economic History,” Journal of Economic Literature 16: 963–978.
North, Douglass C. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. New York: Cambridge University Press.
North, Douglass C. (2005). Understanding the Process of Institutional Change. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Olson, Mancur (1965). The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Ostrom, Elinor (1965). “Public Entrepreneurship: A Case Study in Ground Water Basin Management.” PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Ostrom, Elinor (1976). “Size and Performance in a Federal System,” Publius 6, no. 2: 33–73.
Ostrom, Elinor (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ostrom, Elinor (2010). “Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems,” American Economic Review 100, no. 3 (June): 641–672.
Ostrom, Elinor, Baugh, William H., Guarasci, Richard, Parks, Roger B., and Whitaker, Gordon P. (1973). Community Organization and the Provision of Police Services. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Ostrom, Elinor, Gardner, Roy, and Walker, James (1994). Rules, Games, and Common Pool Resources. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ostrom, Elinor, and Parks, Roger B. (1973). “Suburban Police Departments: Too Many and Too Small?” in Masotti, Louis H. and Hadden, Jeffrey K. (eds.), The Urbanization of the Suburbs, 367–402. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Ostrom, Elinor, Parks, Roger B., et al. (1975). “Measuring Urban Street Conditions,” in Measuring Urban Services: A Multi-Mode Approach, pamphlet 2, Portfolio of Professional Papers on Measuring Urban Services (Measures Project). Bloomington: Indiana University, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.
Ostrom, Elinor, Parks, Roger B., and Whitaker, Gordon (1978). Patterns of Metropolitan Policing. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.
Ostrom, Elinor and Whitaker, Gordon P. (1974). “Community Control and Governmental Responsiveness: The Case of Police in Black Neighborhoods,” in Hawley, Willis and Rogers, David (eds.), Improving the Quality of Urban Management, 303–334. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Ostrom, Vincent (1999). “Polycentricity” (parts 1 and 2), in McGinnis, Michael (ed.), Polycentricity and Local Public Economies: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 52–74, 119–138. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ostrom, Vincent, Tiebout, Charles M., and Warren, Robert (1961). “The Organization of Government in Metropolitan Areas: A Theoretical Inquiry,” American Political Science Review 55, no. 4: 831–842.
Parks, Roger B. (1984). “Linking Subjective and Objective Measures of Performance,” in Whitaker, Gordon P. (ed.), Understanding Police Agency Performance, 148–159. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
Parks, Roger B. (1985). “Metropolitan Structure and Systemic Performance: The Case of Police Service Delivery,” in Hanf, Kenneth and Toonen, Theo A. J. (eds.), Policy Implementation in Federal and Unitary Systems, 161–191. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.
Parks, Roger B. (1999). “Do We Really Want to Consolidate Urban Areas? [It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again],” in McGinnis, Michael (ed.), Polycentricity and Local Public Economies: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 349–351. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Parks, Roger B., Baker, Paula, Kiser, Larry, Oakerson, Ronald J., Ostrom, Elinor, Ostrom, Vincent, Percy, Stephen L., Vandivort, Martha, Whitaker, Gordon P., and Wilson, Rick (1981). “Consumers as Coproducers of Public Services: Some Economic and Institutional Considerations,” Policy Studies Journal 9, no. 7: 1001–1011.
Poteete, Amy, Janssen, Marco, and Ostrom, Elinor (2010). Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Robinson, E. A. G. (1958). The Structure of Competitive Industry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rogers, Bruce D. and Lipsey, C. McCurdy. 1974. “Metropolitan Report: Citizen Evaluations of Performance in Nashville–Davidson County, Tennessee,” Publius 4, no. 4: 19–34.
Schumpeter, Joseph A. (1936). The Theory of Economic Development, trans. Opie, Redvers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Shepsle, Kenneth A. (1979). “Institutional Arrangements and Equilibrium in Multidimensional Voting Models,” American Journal of Political Science 23, no. 1: 27–59.
Simon, Herbert A. (1957a). Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization. New York: Free Press.
Simon, Herbert A. (1957b). Models of Man, Social and Rational. New York: John Wiley.
Simon, Herbert A. (1978). “Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought,” American Economic Review 68, no. 2: 1–17.
Steed, Brian C. (2010). “Natural Forces, Human Choices: An Over Time Study of Responses to Biophysical and Human Induced Disturbance in Los Angeles, California Groundwater Governance.” PhD dissertation, Indiana University.
Williamson, Oliver E. (1964). The Economics of Discretionary Behavior: Managerial Objectives in a Theory of the Firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Williamson, Oliver E. (1967). “Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size,” Journal of Political Economy 75, no. 2: 123–138.
Wood, Robert C. (1961). 1400 Governments. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, Anchor Books.