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

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In the West are the 'haves', while much of the rest of the world are the 'have-nots'. The extent of inequality today is unprecedented. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, Why Nations Fail looks at the root of the problems facing some nations. Economists and scientists have offered useful insights into the reasons for certain aspects of poverty, such as Jeffrey Sachs (it's geography and the weather), and Jared Diamond (it's technology and species). But most theories ignore the incentives and institutions that populations need to invest and prosper: they need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and the key to ensuring these incentives is sound institutions. Incentives and institutions are what separate the have and have-nots. Based on fifteen years of research, and stepping boldly into the territory of Ian Morris's Why the West Rules - For Now, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty. And, perhaps most importantly, they provide a pragmatic basis for the hope that those mired in poverty can be placed on the path to prosperity.

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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

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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. He received the John Bates Clark Medal...James Robinson is a political scientist and economist and the 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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