Why Nations Fail

9 Feb

I recently wrote a review of Acemoglu and Robinson’s newest book “Why Nations Fail.” The review is available behind a pay wall for the journal Public Choice (here). But here’s the gist:

Why Nation’s Fail is an ambitious and worthwhile attempt to understand the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. It provides a succinct narrative for how institutions may diverge. The many examples that show this divergence are entertaining and informative. However, Acemoglu and Robinson’s unwillingness to incorporate the well-established toolkit of public choice economics hobbles their analytical narrative. Ultimately, they fail to make their case – and make no mistake it is an important case to make – because they ignore the individual and they ignore history.

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