About us

The Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment is a multidisciplinary endeavor to improve our understanding of how different types of institutions — defined as the norms and rules people use to govern common resources and provide public goods —perform within different social-ecological systems.

Founded in the summer of 2006, CBIE is a sister center of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. CBIE aims to be an incubator of novel research on collective action and the commons. The center provides a place for students, visitors and faculty to discuss their research in a stimulating, interdisciplinary atmosphere and to forge and inspire new collaborative projects.

We’ll never fully understand what motivates people’s behavior. But we can observe what they actually do in a given set of circumstances, develop models of their decision-making behavior and map that onto data and models of the environment. We can then look across history and time and space to see how people’s decisions and the environment interact.

J. Marty Anderies