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

by Daron Acemoglu

  • ISBN: 9780307719225
  • SKU: 2030301004335

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.

The town of Nogales is divided by a fence: on the north side is the United States, and on the south side, Mexico. And the inhabitants on the northern side face lower crime rates, live longer and earn three times as much as their southern neighbours. Leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson set out to answer how two places— which share an ethnic background, a geographical location and a climate— could be so different. Their compelling and elegantly argued new theory reveals that to prosper, citizens need 'inclusive institutions' which create virtuous circles of innovation, economic expansion and more widely-held wealth. Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Jeffrey Sachs to Jared Diamond, Why Nations Fail blends economics, politics and history to provide a powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty. 

'A great read. Like me, you may succumb to reading it in one go, and then you may come back to it again and again.' Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel 

An intellectually rich book that develops an important thesis with verve.' Financial Times 

'A book which, while at the intellectual cutting edge, is not just readable but engrossing.' Observer

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