Why nations fail book review.docx - Why Nations Fail is a...

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Why Nations Fail is a book that is a must read for all people concerned with International Politics and Economic Development. For people who want to understand the economic disparity in the word, to understand why some countries are poor in this world and why some are rich. To understand why the world wealth is accumulated in 1% of the population. About the Author: Daron Acemoglu is a Turkish-born American economist and professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the past two and a half decades. After completing his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics in 1992, Acemoglu embarked on a very successful career which made him one of the most recognizable economists of the 21 st century. James A. Robinson is a British economist and political scientist with a Ph.D. from Yale University; he has worked as a professor of economics at numerous prestigious institutions, currently at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. A close collaborator of Acemoglu, Robinson is mostly interested in comparative political and economic development of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. He has written quite a few books and studies, many of them collaboration. Book Review and Summary: In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson set before themselves a very ambitious task: to pinpoint, once and for all, the real reasons why some countries are rich and prosperous, and why others are poor and doomed to fail all over again. And in fifteen chapters, they lay out a thought-provoking theory which, if not something more, has incited a lively discussion among the most famous economists, intellectuals, and political thinkers of the XXI century. Before presenting their theory, Acemoglu and Robinson try to point to the faults of other people’s explanations of the problem. They group them into several categories, which we’ll further group into three. 1. Geography and Climate According to the geography hypothesis most eloquently demonstrated by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel , some nations were merely lucky enough to form countries on locations blessed with a pleasant climate. There’s a reason why the poorest countries in the world are located in tropical regions, and why the wealthiest can be found
in cooler climatic zones. Simply put, diseases are more likely to develop in the tropical zones of central Africa and America, and, thus, it is only natural to expect from a Zambian to be far less productive than a Norwegian. However, then why are neighbouring countries such as North Korea and South Korea so different? Moreover, why is Singapore so prosperous, even though it is located in the tropical climate zone. 2. Culture and Religion According to the culture hypothesis, some people are simply more inclined to work than others, because of their cultural and religious heritage. Most of the developed countries, for example, went through the Protestant Reformation. And, as any Protestant knows,

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