Category WNF

WNF Chapter 6

In Chapter 6, Acemoglu and Robinson focus on the historical development of institutions and explain how they evolved in different ways. Through detailed description of history of Rome and Venice, they show that small institutional differences can play an important role during critical juctures and moves towards inclusive institutions can be reversed. Historical factors shape […]

WNF Chapter 5

In Chapter 5 A&R explains that you always don’t need to have inclusive economic and political institutions to have growth – it is possible to have growth under extractive institutions, but it does not last. To quote one of the good bits: The Soviet Union was able to generate rapid growth even under extrative institutions […]

WNF Chapter 4

I must admit that I am enjoying this book more and more. In chapter 4 A&R outline their way of explaining the difference in growth and inequality of levels of development that we observe today. We already know that institutions matter, but how do they matter. They argue that at critical junctures small differences made […]

WNF Chapter 3

Slowly but surely I am working through Why Nations Fail. This week’s public holiday helped a bit. Chapter 3 outlines what makes for prosperity and poverty. The differences lie in extractive vs. inclusive economic and political institutions. There are some striking examples, from the Kingdom of the Congo and the plantation colony of Barbados, through […]

WNF and Acemoglu and Robinson’s recent posts about South Africa

Ladies and gentlemen, this is stuff that we will only be getting to at the end of this course, but I want to highlight them now, before they disappear into the ether. Acemoglu and Robinson have been writing a few interesting posts about South Africa recently and I think that we should take note: Struggling […]

WNF Chapter 2

Aside from watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games this weekend, I also started reading Chapter 2 of Why Nations Fail. Chapter 2 is all about the other theories that explain, or do not explain, inequality of incomes over time and across the world. At the end of chapter 1 WNF made a strong […]

WNF Chapter 1

Ladies and gentlemen, I have managed to get around to the first chapter of Why Nations Fail and want to pose a few questions for you to consider. Their key point is that the difference in living standards between the residents of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales Sonora is due to differences in institutions and how […]