Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Anglais) Broché – 17 septembre 2013
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Revue de presse
"...bracing, garrulous, wildly ambitious and ultimately hopeful. It may, in fact, be a bit of a masterpiece."—Washington Post
“For economics and political-science students, surely, but also for the general reader who will appreciate how gracefully the authors wear their erudition.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Provocative stuff; backed by lots of brain power.”—Library Journal
“This is an intellectually rich book that develops an important thesis with verve. It should be widely read.” —Financial Times
“A probing . . . look at the roots of political and economic success . . . large and ambitious new book.” —The Daily
“Why Nations Fail is a splendid piece of scholarship and a showcase of economic rigor.” —The Wall Street Journal
"Ranging from imperial Rome to modern Botswana, this book will change the way people think about the wealth and poverty of nations...as ambitious as Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel."
“The main strength of this book is beyond the power of summary: it is packed, from beginning to end, with historical vignettes that are both erudite and fascinating. As Jared Diamond says on the cover: 'It will make you a spellbinder at parties.' But it will also make you think.” —The Observer (UK)
"A brilliant book.” —Bloomberg (Jonathan Alter)
“Why Nations Fail is a wildly ambitious work that hopscotches through history and around the world to answer the very big question of why some countries get rich and others don’t.” —The New York Times (Chrystia Freeland)
"Why Nations Failis a truly awesome book. Acemoglu and Robinson tackle one of the most important problems in the social sciences—a question that has bedeviled leading thinkers for centuries—and offer an answer that is brilliant in its simplicity and power. A wonderfully readable mix of history, political science, and economics, this book will change the way we think about economic development. Why Nations Fail is a must-read book." —Steven Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics
"You will have three reasons to love this book. It’s about national income differences within the modern world, perhaps the biggest problem facing the world today. It’s peppered with fascinating stories that will make you a spellbinder at cocktail parties—such as why Botswana is prospering and Sierra Leone isn’t. And it’s a great read. Like me, you may succumb to reading it in one go, and then you may come back to it again and again." —Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the bestsellers Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse
"A compelling and highly readable book. And [the] conclusion is a cheering one: the authoritarian ‘extractive’ institutions like the ones that drive growth in China today are bound to run out of steam. Without the inclusive institutions that first evolved in the West, sustainable growth is impossible, because only a truly free society can foster genuine innovation and the creative destruction that is its corollary." —Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money
"Some time ago a little-known Scottish philosopher wrote a book on what makes nations succeed and what makes them fail. The Wealth of Nations is still being read today. With the same perspicacity and with the same broad historical perspective, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have retackled this same question for our own times. Two centuries from now our great-great- . . . -great grandchildren will be, similarly, reading Why Nations Fail." —George Akerlof, Nobel laureate in economics, 2001
"Why Nations Fail is so good in so many ways that I despair of listing them all. It explains huge swathes of human history. It is equally at home in Asia, Africa and the Americas. It is fair to left and right and every flavor in between. It doesn’t pull punches but doesn’t insult just to gain attention. It 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. It will provide scholars with years of argument and ordinary readers with years of did-you-know-that dinner conversation. It has some jokes, which are always welcome. It is an excellent book and should be purchased forthwith, so to encourage the authors to keep working." —Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and 1493
“Imagine sitting around a table listening to Jared Diamond, Joseph Schumpeter, and James Madison reflect on over two thousand years of political and economic history. Imagine that they weave their ideas into a coherent theoretical framework based on limiting extraction, promoting creative destruction, and creating strong political institutions that share power and you begin to see the contribution of this brilliant and engagingly written book.” —Scott E. Page, University of Michigan and Santa Fre Institute
“This fascinating and readable book centers on the complex joint evolution of political and economic institutions, in good directions and bad. It strikes a delicate balance between the logic of political and economic behavior and the shifts in direction created by contingent historical events, large and small at ‘critical junctures.' Acemoglu and Robinson provide an enormous range of historical examples to show how such shifts can tilt toward favorable institutions, progressive innovation and economic success or toward repressive institutions and eventual decay or stagnation. Somehow they can generate both excitement and reflection.” —Robert Solow, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1987
“It’s the politics, stupid! That is Acemoglu and Robinson’s simple yet compelling explanation for why so many countries fail to develop. From the absolutism of the Stuarts to the antebellum South, from Sierra Leone to Colombia, this magisterial work shows how powerful elites rig the rules to benefit themselves at the expense of the many. Charting a careful course between the pessimists and optimists, the authors demonstrate history and geography need not be destiny. But they also document how sensible economic ideas and policies often achieve little in the absence of fundamental political change.”—Dani Rodrik, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
“Two of the world’s best and most erudite economists turn to the hardest issue of all: why are some nations poor and others rich? Written with a deep knowledge of economics and political history, this is perhaps the most powerful statement made to date that ‘institutions matter.’ A provocative, instructive, yet thoroughly enthralling book.” —Joel Mokyr, Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History, Northwestern University
“A brilliant and uplifting book—yet also a deeply disturbing wake-up call. Acemoglu and Robinson lay out a convincing theory of almost everything to do with economic development. Countries rise when they put in place the right pro-growth political institutions and they fail—often spectacularly—when those institutions ossify or fail to adapt. Powerful people always and everywhere seek to grab complete control over government, undermining broader social progress for their own greed. Keep those people in check with effective democracy or watch your nation fail.” —Simon Johnson, co-author of 13 Bankers and professor at MIT Sloan
“This important and insightful book, packed with historical examples, makes the case that inclusive political institutions in support of inclusive economic institutions is key to sustained prosperity. The book reviews how some good regimes got launched and then had a virtuous spiral, while bad regimes remain in a vicious spiral. This is important analysis not to be missed.” —Peter Diamond, Nobel Laureate in Economics
“Acemoglu and Robinson have made an important contribution to the debate as to why similar-looking nations differ so greatly in their economic and political development. Through a broad multiplicity of historical examples, they show how institutional developments, sometimes based on very accidental circumstances, have had enormous consequences. The openness of a society, its willingness to permit creative destruction, and the rule of appear to be decisive for economic development.” —Kenneth Arrow, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1972
“Acemoglu and Robinson—two of the world's leading experts on development—reveal why it is not geography, disease, or culture which explains why some nations are rich and some poor, but rather a matter of institutions and politics. This highly accessible book provides welcome insight to specialists and general readers alike.” —Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man and The Origins of Political Order
“Some time ago a little known Scottish philosopher wrote a book on what makes nations succeed and what makes them fail. The Wealth of Nations is still being read today. With the same perspicacity and with the same broad historical perspective, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have re-tackled this same question for our own times. Two centuries from now our great-great-…-great grandchildren will be, similarly, reading Why Nations Fail.” —George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001
“In this stunningly wide ranging book Acemoglu and Robinson ask a simple but vital question, why do some nations become rich and others remain poor? Their answer is also simple—because some polities develop more inclusive political institutions. What is remarkable about the book is the crispness and clarity of the writing, the elegance of the argument, and the remarkable richness of historical detail. This book is a must read at a moment where governments right across the western world must come up with the political will to deal with a debt crisis of unusual proportions.” —Steve Pincus, Bradford Durfee Professor of History and International and Area Studies, Yale University
“The authors convincingly show that countries escape poverty only when they have appropriate economic institutions, especially private property and competition. More originally, they argue countries are more likely to develop the right institutions when they have an open pluralistic political system with competition for political office, a widespread electorate, and openness to new political leaders. This intimate connection between political and economic institutions is the heart of their major contribution, and has resulted in a study of great vitality on one of the crucial questions in economics and political economy.” — Gary S. Becker, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1992
“This not only a fascinating and interesting book: it is a really important one. The highly original research that Professors Acemoglu and Robinson have done, and continue to do, on how economic forces, politics and policy choices evolve together and constrain each other, and how institutions affect that evolution, is essential to understanding the successes and failures of societies and nations. And here, in this book, these insights come in a highly accessible, indeed riveting form. Those who pick this book up and start reading will have trouble putting it down.” ¯Michael Spence, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001
"In this delightfully readable romp through 400 years of history, two of the giants of contemporary social science bring us an inspiring and important message: it is freedom that makes the world rich. Let tyrants everywhere tremble!" —Ian Morris, Stanford University, author of Why the West Rules – For Now
“Acemoglu and Robinson pose the fundamental question concerning the development of the bottom billion. Their answers are profound, lucid, and convincing.” ―Paul Collier, Professor of Economics, Oxford University, and author of The Bottom Billion
Présentation de l'éditeur
Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?
Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.
The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.
Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:
- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?
- Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?
- What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?
Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.
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Une de mes meilleures lectures en économie. Merci Acemoglu et Robinson !
How do they answer that? They come up with the concept of inclusive and extractive institutions and economic system. Inclusive is good, extractive is bad. How do they define the difference? Hindsight, cherry-picking history (actually, not even that, just plain wrong history) and repeating ad nauseam the tenets of free-marketers.
So monopoly granted by patent law to Thomas Edison? Good, because this fits the current economic mantra of free-market, so this monopoly is thus viewed as "stable institutions", "guarantee of possible return of investment", etc. And oh surprise, Edison was successful!!
Monopoly granted by decree of king James Umpteenth to the East Bay Stuff Company? Bad, because this is just cozying up to your cronies, against free market. etc. And oh surprised, Jamestown was a catastrophy!! See I told you! So then, according to the authors, inclusive institutions were then put in place there, and tada! it worked. Of course, you have to forget that early America expanded because the colonists extracted land from the natives, but eh! as long as it is not like Spain did, it is not the same. Basically the authors acknowledge that every institution is at once both inclusive and exclusive, but the problem is that they choose to shine a light on a side BECAUSE of the current success or problems of the relevant countries. This is at best ignorant cherry-picking, but it is more in my opinion complete dishonesty and rationalization post facto.
But this is not the worst. The worst is the plainly wrong history. Those guys are actually arguing without laughing that the Black Plague of 1348 is actually the reason why serfdom disappeared in Western Europe. You know, they dug out a couple of charters from the English king that mentions the labor shortage, they then extrapolate a conclusion that fits their premise, and they extend it to the whole Western Europe, because you know, you have to justify the difference with Eastern Europe. Anyone with a modicus of knowledge of Ancient and Medieval European History will cringe reading this book. Forget for example, that serfdom had long declined long before that in France! Nope, it doesn't fit the narrative so let's overlook it. Oh, and a map of the situation of serfdom in Europe in 1800 with MODERN border states? Yep. They do that too!
So we are told history lessons such as: "The political institutions forming the core of the Roman Republic were overthrown by Julius Caesar in 49 BC when he moved his legion across the Rubicon". Really?? "It was this transition from republic to principate and later naked empire that laid the seeds of the decline of Rome". And because the causality is far from being demonstrated, the authors rely on commas. Literally. As in "I farted in the lift, the polar ice cap melted." to demonstrated that me farting actually melted the icecap.
The end of this chapter is typical of the authors: having cherry picked an institutional fact, they must reconcile the fact that the consequences of their cherry picked item don't happen before centuries, so we have stuff like (I quote in extenso without cuts) "The changes unleashed by Augustus as with the Venetian serrata, were at first political but then would have significant economic consequences. As a result of these changes, by the fifth century AD the Western Roman Empire, as the West was called after it split from the East, had declined economically and militarily, and was on the brink of collapse" Damn you Augustus!!! You are the cause of the fall of Rome!
Speaking of Venice, they conclude: "[In 1324] This was the beginning of the end of Venetian prosperity. With the main lines of business monopolized by the increasingly narrow elite, the decline was under way. Venice appeared to have been on the brink of becoming the world's first inclusive society, but it fell to a coup. Political and economic institutions became more extractive and Venice began to experience economic decline. By 1500 the population had shrunk to one hundred thousand. Between 1650 and 1800, when the population of Europe rapidly expanded [note: this is not true for France] that of Venice contracted."
Yeah you read that right, we jump from an institutional change in 1324 to population consequence 175 years later, then 325 years and 475 years later. Oh! Did the fact that the Eastern Mediterranean had fallen under the rule of the Ottoman in the meantime have anything to do with the decline of Venice? No of course not. Did the fact that trade routes switch to the Atlantic trade post-1500 have anything to do with the decline of Venice? Of course not! It is the tightening of the elite in 1324 that is responsible!!
The whole historical argumentation is filled with such rubbish. When on top of that, you get what many other reviewers have said, which is repetition of the argument ad nauseam, circular reasoning, etc. you end up with a book that has only one star because it actually asks a good question and then proceed to demonstrate only the crass ignorance of its authors, and their lack of proper reasoning. Since I have a Kindle edition, I can not even use it as a door-stop. A book to avoid.
Mais poursuivez, cela en vaut la peine. Avec un argumentaire très riche, très bien documenté, l'auteur nous donne une recette pour réussir un pays (plutôt qu'une nation), et pour le faire tomber. Saisissant. C'est si simple, finalement... Juste un état d'esprit. Il me semble que nous devrions tous lire ce livre et le commenter ensemble. Pour éviter la décadence.
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Commentaires client les plus récents
to read and enjoy the history of the failures states or collapsing states.
pleasure to learn
A lire pour les exemples, mais à fuit pour la méthodologie.En lire plus