Lee J. Alston

Adjunct Instructor
Ostrom Chair
Professor of Economics
Director, Ostrom Workshop
Research Associate, NBER

(812) 855-0441
Room Number:
Ostrom Workshop, 513 N. Park Ave.


  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Washington, 1978
  • M.A., Economics, University of Washington, 1975
  • B.A., Economics, Indiana University, 1973


  • Institutional Analysis: Concepts and Applications
  • Institutions and Economic and Political Development


Lee J. Alston is the Ostrom Chair, professor of Economics and Law, and director of the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Alston is past president of the International Society for the New Institutional Economics, and president of the Economic History Association. He is the author of eight books and more than 70 scholarly articles.

His research interests include: the roles of institutions, beliefs, and contracts in shaping economic and political outcomes in the United States and Latin America. Issues examined include the role of the U.S. South in shaping the welfare system in the 1960s; titles and land conflict in the Amazon; and the governance and use of natural resources, historically and today.

Alston has held faculty positions at Williams College, the University of Illinois, and the University of Colorado and visiting positions at the University of Washington, UC-Davis, the Australian National University, University of Paris-Sorbonne, Stockholm School of Economics, and Princeton University.


  • Senior Marketing Research Analyst, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
  • Senior Officer, Corporate Planning, Pakistan State Oil Limited