Why Nations Fail

7th Mar 2012; 13:00

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RSA Keynote

Why are some nations more prosperous than others?

Professor of Government at Harvard University, James A. Robinson visits the RSA to explain that the answer to this question is not to be found in climate, geography or culture, but lies in the role of institutions.

Robinson and his co-author of the new book Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu, argue that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace.
Bringing together economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty, Robinson offers a pragmatic basis for the hope that at 'critical junctures' in history, those mired in economic disadvantage can be placed on the path to prosperity.

Speaker: James A. Robinson, professor of government, Harvard University and co-author of 'Why Nations Fail'.

Chair: Paul Collier, professor of economics, Oxford University, director, Centre for the Study of African Economies and professorial fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford.

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