Avner Greif (born 1955) is an economics professor at Stanford University, Stanford, California. He holds a chaired professorship as Bowman Family Professor in the Humanities and Sciences.
Greif received his PhD in Economics at Northwestern University, where Joel Mokyr acted as his supervisor, in 1989 and started his career at Stanford University in 1989 until he received tenure in 1994. In 1998 he received a 'genius grant' from the MacArthur Foundation. His works deal with economic history and role of institutions in economic development, including analysis of trade in medieval Europe and Levant.
Greif specializes in the study of the social institutions that support economic development, and their history, incorporating game theory into his approach to this large subject. Greif is on the board of trustees of the International Society of New Institutional Economics.
One of his latest works is Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade (ISBN 0-521-67134-5). The introduction to this book is available online here. This book is novel in the use of game theory approach to the study of institutional economics.
- Greif, Avner (1993). "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition". The American Economic Review 83 (3,): 525–48.
- Greif, Avner (1994). "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies". The Journal of Political Economy 102 (October 5,): 912–50. doi:10.1086/261959.
- Greif, Avner and David Laitin (2004). "A Theory of Endogenous Institutional Change". American Political Science Review 98 (4): 14–48. doi:10.1017/s0003055404041395.
- Avner Greif (2006). Institutions and the path to the modern economy: lessons from medieval trade. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-48044-4. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
- Greif, Avner (2006). "Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origins and Implications of Western Corporations". SSRN, American Economic Review.
- Greif, Avner (2008). "Coercion and Exchange: How Did Markets Evolve?"
- Greif, Avner and Steven Tadelis (2010). "A Theory of Moral Persistence: Crypto-Morality and Political Legitimacy". SSRN, Journal of Comparative Economics.
- Greif, Avner and Guido Tabellini (2010). "Cultural and Institutional Bifurcation: China and Europe Compared". SSRN, American Economic Review.
- Greif, Avner and Guido Tabellini (2012). "The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe". SSRN.
- Greif, Avner, Murat Iyigun, and Diego L. Sasson (2011). "Risk, Institutions and Growth: Why England and Not China?". SSRN.
- Greif, Avner, Murat Iyigun, and Diego L. Sasson (2012). "Social Institutions and Economic Growth: Why England and Not China Became the First Modern Economy". SSRN. (This paper is an updated version of "Risk, Institutions and Growth: Why England and Not China?")
- "Avner Greif's Homepage at Stanford Department of Economics". Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- "1998 MacArthur Foundation Awards".
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