Why Nations Fail
The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
James Robinson—the co-author of the hard-hitting book, Why Nations Fail—knows why some countries are richer, healthier, and more prosperous than others. In his keynotes, Robinson delves into real-world examples that contrast success and failure among various nations. To thrive economically, a nation needs a strong government, clear incentives for investment, powerful institutions and sound infrastructure.
James Robinson’s book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, co-authored with MIT’s Daron Acemoglu, is a practical and momentous work—the culmination of 15 years of groundbreaking research. Why Nations Fail opens a new path of exploration into examining—and then closing—the gap between rich and poor countries. It upends conventional thinking to show us that, despite what some historians claim, good climate and technology are not the main factors determining a country’s success.
“Why Nations Fail illuminates the past as it gives us a new way to think about the present. It is that rare book in economics that convinces the reader that the authors want the best for ordinary people.”— Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and 1493
A political scientist and economist, James Robinson is a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Robinson’s previous book, Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, also co-authored with Acemoglu, argued that different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate power and resources. The Financial Times called it “brilliant.” James Robinson and Daron Acemoglu discuss issues from their new book Why Nations Fail on NPR’s All Things Considered.