Why nations fail

the origins of power, prosperity and poverty

529 pages

English language

Published Dec. 4, 2012 by Crown Publishers.


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Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, or 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 research, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is our man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or the 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 the Koreas is due to the politics that created those two different institutional trajectories. Acemoglu and Robinson marshal extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, the Soviet Union, the United States, and …

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  • Revolutions
  • Economic development
  • Economics
  • Social policy
  • Poverty
  • Economic policy
  • Political aspects
  • Economic aspects
  • Economic history


  • Developing countries