Stanford University economist, MacArthur Fellow to speak at WMU

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Dr. Avner Greif.


KALAMAZOO—A Stanford University economist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship will speak next week at Western Michigan University as part of the Sichel Lecture Series' 50th anniversary year.

Dr. Avner Greif, professor of economics and the Bowman Family Endowed Professor in Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, will speak at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in 2028 Brown Hall. His presentation, titled "Economic Development from a Historical Perspective: The Origin and Nature of Good Institutions," is free and open to the public.

Avner Greif

Greif is among six award-winning economists coming to WMU to celebrate the Sichel Series' 50th year. This year's series carries the theme "Award-Winning Economists Speak on Contemporary Economic Issues" and features three recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, commonly referred to as "genius grants."

Greif earned his doctoral degree in economics from Northwestern University in 1989 and was awarded the five-year MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1998. His research interests include European economic history and the historical development of economic institutions including their interrelations with political, social and cultural factors and their impact on economic growth. He has been named a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometrics Society and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association.

About the series

The Sichel Lecture Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of Werner Sichel, a longtime WMU economics professor and former department chair, who retired in 2004. The series is annually cosponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The lectures are formatted with the general public in mind.

This year's series is being organized by Dr. Jean Kimmel, a WMU professor of economics.