James A. Robinson, Daron Acemoglu

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

Translated into 40 languages since its publication, and based on fifteen years of original research, Why Nations Fail, coauthored by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: 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? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? Acemoglu and Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it).

The University of Chicago