Reviews

  • 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

    Dani Rodrik, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, on Why Nations Fail
  • 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

    Joel Mokyr, Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History, Northwestern University, on Why Nations Fail
  • 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

    Scott E. Page, University of Michigan and Santa Fre Institute, on Why Nations Fail
  • 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

    Paul Collier, Observer, on Why Nations Fail