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 that determines prosperity or poverty? As Why Nations Fail shows, none of these factors is either definitive or destiny.
Drawing on fifteen years of original serearch, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is our man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one example, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The differences between Koreas is due to the politics that created those two different institutional trajectories. Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, the Soviet Union, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, among them:
- Will China's economy continue to grow at such a high speed and ultimately overwhelm the West?
Are America's best days behind it? Are we creating a vicious cyce that enriches and empowers a small minority?