There is no reason to believe that bureaucrats and politicians, no matter how well meaning, are better at solving problems than the people on the spot, who have the strongest incentive to get the solution right.

— Elinor Ostrom

The most instructive Elinor Ostrom quotes that will activate your inner potential

What is missing from the policy analyst's tool kit -- and from the set of accepted, well-developed theories of human organization -- is an adequately specified theory of collective action whereby a group of principals can organize themselves voluntarily to retain the residuals of their own efforts.


The power of a theory is exactly proportional to the diversity of situations it can explain.


Bureaucrats sometimes do not have the correct information, while citizens and users of resources do.


In some settings, however, rampant opportunistic behavior severely limits what can be done jointly without major investments in monitoring and sanctioning arrangements.


Little by little, bit by bit, family by family, so much good can be done on so many levels

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