The Nineteenth-Century Rules for Growth

Over the course of the Industrial Revolution, Britain became an industrial superpower. Other countries had to find policies that would allow them to develop their industry despite Britain’s enormous first-mover advantage. These policies necessarily involved protectionist trade policies and government intervention…

Why Nations Fail: 
Extractive and Inclusive Institutions

Acemoglu and Robinson’s goal is to explain why some nations are rich and others are poor. They present a theory based on the interaction between political and economic institutions. Casual empiricism suggests that its explanatory power is quite strong…

Why Nations Fail:
 Theory is Tidy, History is Messy

Acemoglu and Robinson argue that sustained growth is almost always attained in a particular way: inclusive political institutions develop first, followed by inclusive economic institutions, followed by growth. They recognize the boldness of their claim…

Democracy’s Dilemma

There is more to democratic government than simply the right to vote. The temptation to exercise power in ways that advance self-interests at the expense of national interests must be controlled…

Property and Property Rights: A History

What do property and property rights mean today? What are their philosophical and economic foundations?

Ding Dong, the Witch is Still Very Much Alive

There were massive changes in economic institutions during the late twentieth century. China abandoned central planning. The Soviet Union collapsed, and its satellite states gained their political freedom and adopted free market systems. Socialism receded throughout Latin America and in India…