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Why Nations Fail

One of the great experiences of my stint in grad school was taking Advanced Macro classes from a fellow who at the time was regarded as a promising young professor at MIT — Daron Acemoglu.  It was well worth making the bike trip from Harvard, down Mass. Ave., to learn from him.  He is surely the most productive economist alive.  And his frequent collaborator Jim Robinson may just be the most interesting political scientist.  Their joint research program — figuring out what works and what doesn’t in economic development — involves asking some of the most important questions any social scientist can ask.

And now we all have the opportunity to learn from Daron and Jim.  They have a popular book coming out: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. And even better, the book has provided them with the impetus to also start a blog devoted to understanding … why nations fail.

If their first post is any indication — it’s about understanding the link between educational attainment and cotton exports in Uzbekistan — this is going to be a great blog to follow.  They’ve already earned a spot in my RSS feed.