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

Crown Business, 2012

Book Forum
April 4, 2012 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring the coauthor Daron Acemoglu, Killian Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; with comments by Karla Hoff, Senior Research Economist, Development Economics Group, World Bank; moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

Institutions — not geography, culture, or other factors — explain why some nations succeed and others fail. So says Daron Acemoglu in an ambitious new book drawing evidence from thousands of years of human history and from societies as diverse as those of the Inca Empire, 17th century England, and contemporary Botswana. Inclusive political and economic institutions, influenced by critical junctures in history, produce virtuous cycles that reinforce pluralism in the market and in politics. Acemoglu will contrast that pattern of development with that experienced under extractive institutions. He will also describe the conditions under which institutions favorable or inimical to development tend to arise. Karla Hoff will provide critical comments.