Avner Greif on His Citation Practices

John Sides Oct 26 '09

A while back, I noted a critique by C.K. Rowley of Avner Greif’s citation practices — specifically that he had not adequately cited a scholar named Janet Landa. Greif has responded here (gated):

bq. Rowley’s claim that I have “expropriated” intellectual property rights from Professor Landa by insufficiently citing her works is vacuous. It failed, among other faults, to recognize the substantive distinction between the lines of research pursued by Professor Landa and myself. Her analysis of trust is preferences-based while my analysis is beliefs-based. We talk about similar issues but what we say is very different.

He also writes:

bq. As a matter of fact there is a positive correlation between the publication of my work and citations to Professor Landa’s work…Comparing the number of citations to Landa (1981) prior to and following my first publication is revealing. There were six times more citations in the second period. Citation levels remained high in subsequent years and the number of citations in economics has similarly increased in each of these three sub-periods. My students and I have continuously contributed to this record including, as is easy to verify using Google book search, references to her works on pages 70 and 88 in my recent book (Greif 2006). The assertion in Rowley (2009, p. 282) that “Janet Landa’s name and publications are absent from” the text of this book is obviously baseless and incorrect. Its broader claim is similarly vacuous. Scholarship is not necessarily a zero-sum game.