Recommendations from our site
“In terms of understanding this top inequality, I mentioned the possibility that it might be about politics. How should we think about politics? What are the levers of politics? For that we need a conceptual framework and that’s what this book tries to provide. It’s co-authored with my long-term collaborator and friend Jim Robinson – and it’s not about US or UK or Canadian inequality. It runs through several thousand years of history, and tries to explain how societies work and why, often, they fail to generate prosperity for their citizens. It’s a very political story.” Read more...
Daron Acemoglu, Economist
“The key to this book is really all in an early example in the text, where they cite the small town of Nogales on the Arizona-Mexico border. The border basically goes through the middle of the town: you can drive a cigarette paper through the differences between the people on the two sides of the border. They’re from similar families, they’re related, they have shared history and so on, but one of them is in North America, and the other is in Mexico. There are visible and quite stark contrasts in the standards of living and prosperity of people who live either side of the border. The question they ask is, how did this happen? This leads them to an issue which crops up in Ian Morris’s book as well, and I think is an absolutely essential factor to look at when we try to understand relative speeds and levels of economic development, which is the role of inclusive institutions.” Read more...
The best books on Emerging Markets
George Magnus, Economist
“Why Nations Fail is by two of my favourite economists, two very close friends and co-authors of mine, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. They’re tackling a subject that I’ve worked on with them, and they do a great job of bringing it to life and making it vivid. Why Nations Fail is one of those books that stretches your mind and gives you all these examples and connections between them, so that you come away from it saying, “Wow. I didn’t know that.” It’s really, really interesting.” Read more...
The best books on Why Economic History Matters
Simon Johnson, Economist
Our most recommended books
A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960
by Anna Schwartz & Milton Friedman
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
by Michael Lewis
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
by David S Landes
The Worldly Philosophers
by Robert L Heilbroner
The Passions and the Interests
by Albert Hirschman
Why Nations Fail
by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson