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Avner Greif

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,[1] in 1989 and started his career at Stanford University in 1989 until he received tenure in 1994. In 1998 he received a 'genius grant'[2] 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.

Selected publications


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