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Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty Paperback – 7 Feb 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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

Review

A must-read. Acemoglu and Robinson are intellectual heavyweights of the first rank

An important book

An intellectually rich book that develops an important thesis with verve

It's 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.

A must-read. Acemoglu and Robinson are intellectual heavyweights of the first rank ... they have done you the courtesy of writing a book that while at the intellectual cutting edge is not just readable but engrossing ... erudite and fascinating.

For those who think that a nation's economic fate is determined by geography or culture, Daron Acemoglu and Jim Robinson have bad news. It's man-made institutions, not the lay of the land or the faith of our forefathers, that determine whether a country is rich or poor. Synthesizing brilliantly the work of theorists from Adam Smith to Douglass North with more recent empirical research by economic historians, Acemoglu and Robinson have produced a compelling and highly readable book. And their conclusion is a cheering one: the authoritarian "extractive" institutions like the one's that drive growth in China today are bound to run out of steam. Without the inclusive institutions that first evolved in the West, sustainable growth is impossible, because only a truly free society can foster genuine innovation and the creative destruction that is its corollary.

This fascinating and readable book centers on the complex joint evolution of political and economic institutions, in good directions and bad. It strikes a delicate balance between the logic of political and economic behavior and the shifts in direction created by contingent historical events, large and small at 'critical junctures'. Acemoglu and Robinson provide an enormous range of historical examples to show how such shifts can tilt toward favorable institutions, progressive innovation and economic success or toward repressive institutions and eventual decay or stagnation. Somehow they can generate both excitement and reflection.

It's the politics, stupid! That is Acemoglu and Robinson's simple yet compelling explanation for why so many countries fail to develop. From the absolutism of the Stuarts to the antebellum South, from Sierra Leone to Colombia, this magisterial work shows how powerful elites rig the rules to benefit themselves at the expense of the many. Charting a careful course between the pessimists and optimists, the authors demonstrate history and geography need not be destiny. But they also document how sensible economic ideas and policies often achieve little in the absence of fundamental political change.

Two of the world's best and most erudite economists turn to the hardest issue of all: why are some nations poor and others rich? Written with a deep knowledge of economics and political history, this is perhaps the most powerful statement made to date that 'institutions matter.' A provocative, instructive, yet thoroughly enthralling book.

Imagine sitting around a table listening to Jared Diamond, Joseph Schumpeter, and James Madison reflect on over two thousand years of political and economic history. Imagine that they weave their ideas into a coherent theoretical framework based on limiting extraction, promoting creative destruction, and creating strong political institutions that share power and you begin to see the contribution of this brilliant and engagingly written book.

Book Description

A<b> </b>provocative bestseller that explains why the world is divided into nations with wildly differing levels of prosperity.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd; Main edition (7 February 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846684307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846684302
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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