Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty

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Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012.

Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace.

Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Max Weber to Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond, Acemoglu and Robinson step boldly into the territory of Francis Fukuyama and Ian Morris. They blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mcdenis - LibraryThing

We tend to view historical lanscapes in linear mode and fail to realize that minor and sometimes chance occurrences progress to different outcomes. However Acemogol and Robinson provide us with a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

Terse, concise and interesting. I find this much more persuasive than Jared Diamond's theories (although time-wise it picks up much later). It may somewhat seem like pushing the air bubble behind the ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Daron Acemoglu is the Killian Professor of Economics at MIT and recipient of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal. James A. Robinson is a political scientist and economist and the David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University, and a world-renowned expert on Latin America and Africa.

They are the authors of Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, which won numerous prizes.

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