Nobel Prize winner positive about China's economic growth

15:04, October 16, 2009      

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Elinor Ostrom, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in economics, said Thursday that despite many challenges, China was still enjoying rapid economic growth during the current global economic recession.

"There are a lot of encouraging things going on in China," said Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in the economic sciences category, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua at Indiana University in Bloomington.

She expressed her belief that the Chinese authorities have allowed a lot of experimentation and learning so that people are able to try out various ways of conserving resources.

When asked about her advice on China's economic development, she said "there is no single formula. The polycentric system, with some of the governance at large, some regional, some small and some going down to village level, is more likely to be able to solve problems than just having it at a large scale."

As to the current economic situation in the United States, Ostrom said "it is a very rough time, .... we over-invested a lot of capital and we should move to have more self-organization and less commercialization."

"We hope for a recovery and things are looking more positive. There are a lot of things going on in terms of sustainable development in the U.S., in Canada and even in Mexico," she added.

Regarding the sustainable development of the global economy, Ostrom said "growing products in country A and shipping them to country B is not as good for the environment as growing them in country A and eating them in country A. It doesn't mean that international trade is always bad. But sometimes there are real advantages but sometimes we have moved to where we are using too much energy and we need to do pretty serious thinking about it. "

Referring to the positive changes brought by winning the Nobel Prize for her research, Ostrom said "I hope that it means some of the research we have already done is taken a little more seriously and I hope it helps some of our colleagues in China who are doing a very exciting study in Beijing on self-organization."

Ostrom's research was introduced to China about 10 years ago and has generated great interest in China. Some of her books have been translated into Chinese, such as Governing the Commons: the Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action.

"I was first involved with Chinese students when they did research work with my husband Vincent Ostrom. We visited China for the first time in 1997. We went to Hangzhou which is one of the most beautiful places in the world," she said.

Full of affection for her Chinese colleagues and students, Ostrom described them as a very alive and exciting intellectual group.

She was very excited when talking about her most recent visit to Beijing in August. "When I was in Beijing a couple of months ago, we had a wonderful birthday party over there for me and another Chinese scholar."

Ostrom said she loves Chinese food, especially Peking Duck, and had been to the Great Wall twice, whose "ingenuity" impressed her most.

Ostrom was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday, which recognized her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons. She is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in the economic sciences category, which has been awarded since 1968.

Source: Xinhua
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