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

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

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

3/5 (5 ratings)
39 pages
30 minutes
Mar 24, 2016


Acemoglu's theory and explanation of the differences in global prosperity are as enlightening as they are entertaining. He manages to make the puzzling concept dead simple to understand because the book, rather than a lengthy lecture explaining the theory, is a series of examples supporting it. After the first chapter, you will fundamentally understand the concept and theory behind this book, and each subsequent chapter will support the theory in fascinating ways.

Take the opening example for instance: comparing a city, Nogales, that was literally cut in half by the US-Mexico border. So many history books and experts like to chalk up the world's current state to fate, such as in differences in climate or geographical location. Yet here is a shining example of how none of those things matter. At one point, this was just one city, and now it has become two cities so different, you'd think their shared name and location were some sort of joke.

Mar 24, 2016

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Why Nations Fail - Summary Station

Summary and Analysis of Robinson and Acemoglu’s "Why Nations Fail:

The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty"

By Summary Station

Copyright © 2015 by Summary Station

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof

may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever

without the express written permission of the publisher

except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing, 2015

Smashwords Edition

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen


Chapter One

The first examination demonstrates the contrast between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales in Mexico—two cities with similar cultures and people that are vastly different in their economic standing despite sharing a name and a border. In South America, Spanish colonization developed to the point where the indigenous people were forced to work for sustenance while the Spanish collected all profits from said slavery. In North America, settlers were unable to control the indigenous and refused to be slaves to the British authorities that sent them there.

Mexico’s journey to independence was intermingled with Spain’s struggles to retain power due to Napoleon’s invasions. Mexico ended up with a constitutional monarchy to appease the people, but the ruler left enough loopholes to declare himself dictator—starting a process of president swapping that would repeat itself throughout Mexico’s history. With the obvious exception of slaves, the majority of the United States’ population had always had more economic opportunities available.

The Industrial Revolution arrived in America from England and was incredibly effective in the US because anyone could file a

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5 ratings / 1 Reviews
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  • (1/5)
    This is very simplistic way of looking into world history. There are more factors ignored or overlooked in this book when considering why some countries are developed while others are not. Take for example, I found absurd to suggest to that slavery was endorsed by African head states as way of revenue generation and when slavery was abolished in Europe, that revenue no longer yield any value. Contrary to that, slavery was very lucrative business for European slavery owners and states and African slaves were brought by chains. As of today, Europeans are exploiting African countries with their support of corrupt dictators. Pleas get the facts straight.