Bernarducho's Reviews > Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoğlu
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's review
May 03, 2012

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Read from March 12, 2014 to January 25, 2015

The title reveals a lot. The whole book is a compendium of case studies regarding the failure -total or partial- of nations present and past. BUT, just like the title, it is completely written in the negative perspective (as in just the failure/mistakes/negative side perspective).

Although the selected cases are mostly interesting (The Moluccan Archipielago, The French Revolution, South Korea), the thesis is one and repeated ad nauseam: Extractive institutions inhibit (read: utterly destroy) economic growth. Ok, by the 134th time, we get it, but it's still the 2nd chapter.

I found only one sentence on pg. 429 written in the positive form, with a summary of this thesis and formulated as a proposal: "Inclusive economic institutions that enforce property rights, create a level playing field, and encourage investments in new technologies and skills are more conducive to economic growth (than the others)". I would've liked another chapter just on that instead of yet more proof for the apparently inequivocal thesis previously and copiously mentioned.

It's good. It's too long. I read another 15 books while reading this one to give me strength.

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Reading Progress

03/12/2014 marked as: currently-reading
11/24/2014 page 302
55.0% "Oh my god. This is so rhetorical. This book could've been written in 50 pages."
01/27/2015 marked as: read
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Bernarducho I'm getting the impression that it's unnecessarily long. The info is quite rhetoric and repetitive.

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