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Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson - Excerpt

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson - Excerpt

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Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today.

To read more about Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu, or James Robinson please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.
Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today.

To read more about Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu, or James Robinson please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.

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Published by: Crown Publishing Group on Feb 29, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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Copyright © 2012 by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson All rights reserved.Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of theCrown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. www.crownpublishing.comCROWN and the CROWN colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Acemoglu, Daron. Why nations fail : the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty / Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson.—1st ed.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references.1. Economics—Political aspects. 2. Economic history—Political aspects. 3. Poverty— Developing countries. 4. Economic development—Developing countries.5. Revolutions—Economic aspects. 6. Developing countries—Economic policy.7. Developing countries—Social policy. I. Robinson, James A., 1960– . II. Title.HB74.P65A28 2012330—dc232011023538ISBN 978-0-307-71921-8eISBN 978-0-307-71923-2Printed in the United States of AmericaBook design by Leonard HendersonMaps by Melissa Dell Jacket design by David Tran Jacket photograph by Kirk Mastin/Getty Images1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2First Edition

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