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

Front Cover
Profile, Mar 8, 2012 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
15 Reviews

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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
6
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DLMorrese - LibraryThing

This book argues that nations fail for three basic reasons (I'm paraphrasing here): 1) Lack of central control 2) An economic system that extracts property (including labor) from people and transfers ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mothwing - LibraryThing

It's makes its main points, "democracy and a certain level of centralisation are important for success" and "extractive regimes cause nations to fail" over almost 500 pages, with many examples. I ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

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.

Bibliographic information