Bio


Avner Greif is Professor of Economics and Bowman Family Endowed Professor in Humanities and Sciences at Stanford. His research interests include European economic history: the historical development of economic institutions, their interrelations with political, social and cultural factors and their impact on economic growth. Some of his publications are: Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade, Cambridge University Press (March 2006); Impersonal Exchange without Impartial Law: The Community Responsibility System, Chicago Journal of International Law (2004); How Do Self-enforcing Institutions Endogenously Change? Institutional Reinforcement and Quasi-Parameters (with David Laitin), the American Political Science Review (2003); Analytic Narratives, Oxford University Press, 1998. Avner Greif received his Ph. D. in economics from Northwestern University, and his B.A. in economics and history - from Tel Aviv University.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Montias Prize for Comparative Economic Studies, Journal of Comparative Economics (2013)
  • Invited Speaker, IEA Annual Meeting, Beijing (2011)
  • Member, Executive Committee of the International Economic Association (2011)
  • Keynote Address, Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture (2010)
  • Alumni Merit Award, Northwestern University (2009)
  • Gyorgi Ranki Biennial Prize, Economic History Association (2007)
  • Veblen 150 Prize, Association for Evolutionary Economics European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (2007)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, program on Institutions, Markets, and Technologies at Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies (2007)
  • Fellowshio, Stanford Humanities Center (2001-2002)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (1993)
  • National Fellow, Hoover Institution (1992)
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Utrecht (2013)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004)
  • Fellow, Econometrics Society (1997)
  • Fellow, MacArthur Foundation (1998-2003)
  • Fellow, CIFAR (2005 -)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Editorial Board, Journal of Comparative Economics (2010 - Present)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, European Review of Economic History (2010 - Present)
  • Board of editors, Journal of Legal Analysis (2008 - Present)
  • International Advisory Board, Journal of Institutional Economics (2003 - Present)
  • Editorial Board, The Journal of Economic Literature (2003 - 2006)
  • Editorial Board, The Journal of Economic History (1996 - 2000)
  • Editorial Board, The Economic Journal (1996 - 2000)
  • Editorial Board, European Review of Economic History (2001 - Present)
  • Co-editor, Comparative Institutional Analysis series for MIT Press (1997 - Present)
  • Co-editor, Economics, Cognition, and Society series for The University of Michigan press (2013 - Present)
  • Advisory Board, Stanford University (2004 - 2005)
  • Member, Committee on Islamic Studies (2004 - 2004)
  • Finance Committee, Stanford University Board of Trustees (2002 - 2004)
  • Advisory Board, Social Science History Institute (1997 - Present)
  • Advisory Committee, Overseas Program (1995 - 1997)
  • Subcommittee, Paris Campus Review (1995 - 1996)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Northwestern University, Economics (1989)
  • M.A., Northwestern University, Economics (1988)
  • M.A., Tel Aviv University, History of the Jewish People (1985)
  • B.A., Tel Aviv University, Economics and History of the Jewish People (Double Major) (1981)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


European economic history: the historical development of economic institutions, their interrelations with political, social and cultural factors and their impact on economic growth.

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Orals Evaluator
    Osei Boakye

All Publications


  • Cognitive rules, institutions, and economic growth: Douglass North and beyond JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS Greif, A., Mokyr, J. 2017; 13 (1): 25-52
  • The clan and the corporation: Sustaining cooperation in China and Europe JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS Greif, A., Tabellini, G. 2017; 45 (1): 1-35
  • Social Organizations, Violence, and Modern Growth AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Greif, A., Iyigun, M. 2013; 103 (3): 534-538
  • Social Organizations, Risk-Sharing Institutions and Industrialization American Economic Review Greif , A., Iygun, M., Sasson , D. 2013
  • A theory of moral persistence: Crypto-morality and political legitimacy JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS Greif, A., Tadelis, S. 2010; 38 (3): 229-244
  • Administrative Foundations of Self-Enforcing Constitutions, The American Economic Review Greif, A., de Lara, Y., Jha, S. 2008; 98,2: 105-109
  • History lessons - The birth of impersonal exchange: The community responsibility system and impartial justice JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES Greif, A. 2006; 20 (2): 221-236
  • A theory of endogenous institutional change AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Greif, A., Laitin, D. D. 2004; 98 (4): 633-652
  • Organizing violence JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Bates, R., Greif, A., Singh, S. 2002; 46 (5): 599-628
  • The analytic narrative project AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW BATES, R. H., Greif, A., Levi, M., Rosenthal, J. L., Weingast, B. R. 2000; 94 (3): 696-702
  • Game theory and historical institutional analysis: Self-enforcing, non-market institutions during the late medieval period ANNALES-HISTOIRE SCIENCES SOCIALES Greif, A. 1998; 53 (3): 597-?
  • Political organizations, social structure, and institutional success: Reflections from Genoa and Venice during the commercial revolution JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL AND THEORETICAL ECONOMICS-ZEITSCHRIFT FUR DIE GESAMTE STAATSWISSENSCHAFT Greif, A. 1995; 151 (4): 734-740
  • CULTURAL BELIEFS AND THE ORGANIZATION OF SOCIETY - A HISTORICAL AND THEORETICAL REFLECTION ON COLLECTIVIST AND INDIVIDUALIST SOCIETIES JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Greif, A. 1994; 102 (5): 912-950
  • COORDINATION, COMMITMENT, AND ENFORCEMENT - THE CASE OF THE MERCHANT GUILD JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Greif, A., Milgrom, P., Weingast, B. R. 1994; 102 (4): 745-776
  • ON THE POLITICAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE LATE-MEDIEVAL COMMERCIAL REVOLUTION - GENOA DURING THE 12TH AND 13TH CENTURIES JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY Greif, A. 1994; 54 (2): 271-287
  • CONTRACT ENFORCEABILITY AND ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS IN EARLY TRADE - THE MAGHRIBI TRADERS COALITION AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Greif, A. 1993; 83 (3): 525-548
  • REPUTATION AND COALITIONS IN MEDIEVAL TRADE - EVIDENCE ON THE MAGHRIBI TRADERS JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY Greif, A. 1989; 49 (4): 857-882
  • The Economic History of China: From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century (Book Review) HARVARD JOURNAL OF ASIATIC STUDIES Book Review Authored by: Chen, Y., Greif, A. 2018; 78 (2): 576–85
  • The Maghribi traders: a reappraisal? ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW Greif, A. 2012; 65 (2): 445-469
  • The curious commentary on the citation practices of Avner Greif PUBLIC CHOICE Greif, A. 2009; 141 (3-4): 273-275
  • Qu'est ce que l’analyse institutionnelle Tracés, French Journal of Social Sciences Greif , A. 2009
  • Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade Greif, A. Cambridge University Press. 2006
  • Institutions and impersonal exchange: From communal to individual responsibility 19th International Seminar on the New Institutional Economics Greif, A. J C B MOHR. 2002: 168–204
  • Analytic Narratives Greif , A., Bates, B., Levi , M., Rosenthal , J., Weingast , B. Princeton University Press . 1998