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

WED, MAR 21, 2012 (54:24)

Daron Acemoglu discusses his book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.

Acemoglu answers the question that have 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?

Acemoglu argues that 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?

Acemoglu and co-author James Robinson demonstrate that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Based on fifteen years of original research, Acemoglu and Robinson marshall 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."

Partner
Harvard Book Store
Recommended Lectures