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Avner Greif Economist

Avner Greif is Professor of Economics, the Bowman Family Endowed Professor in Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (Stanford) and a Fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advance Research (CIFAR). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometrics Society and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. His research interests include the historical development of economic institutions, their interrelations with political, social and cultural factors and their impact on economic growth. Among his publications are Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade, Cambridge University Press (2006) and Analytic Narratives, Oxford University Press (co-authored 1998).  Greif’s research extensively relies of the method known as historical and comparative institutional analysis which he applied for the study of Europe, the Middle East, and China.



University of Utrecht Honorary Doctorate, 2013.

Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2004.

MacArthur Foundation Fellow, 1998-2003.

Elected Fellow of the Econometrics Society, 1997.

Relevant Publications

A. Greif and S. Tadelis, "A Theory of Moral Persistence: Crypto-morality and Political Legitimacy," J. Comp. Econ., vol. 38, pp. 229-44, 2010.

A. Greif and D. Laitin, "A Theory of Endogenous Institutional Change," Am. Polit. Sci. Rev., vol. 98, pp. 14-48, 2004.

A. Greif et al, "Coordination, Commitment and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Gild," J. Polit. Econ., vol. 102, no. 4, pp. 745-776, 1994.

A. Greif, "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," J. Polit. Econ., vol. 102, no. 5, pp. 912-50, 1994.

A. Greif, "Contract enforceability and economic institutions in early trade: The Maghribi traders' coalition," Am. Econ. Rev. pp. 525-548, June 1993.


A. Greif and L. Kiesline, Eds., Institutions, Innovation, and Industrialization: Essays in Economic History and Development. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015

A. Greif, Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006

R. Bates et al, Analytic Narratives. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998



Senior Fellow Institutions, Organizations & Growth


Stanford UniversityDepartment of Economics


PhD (Economics) Northwestern University

MA (Economics) Northwestern University

MA (History of the Jewish People) Tel Aviv University

BA (Economics and History of the Jewish People) Tel Aviv University


United States

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