Mar. 22, 2013
Economist Daron Acemoglu to talk on theory of prosperity
Daron Acemoglu, co-author of the 2012 economic development book "Why Nations Fail: Origins of Power, Poverty and Prosperity," will deliver the George Staller Lecture March 28 at 4:30 p.m., 305 Ives Hall.
In "Why Nations Fail" Acemoglu and co-author James Robinson of Harvard University describe the political economy theory of prosperity they have been researching for 15 years.
"The real challenge for us is to develop an understanding of why societies will not naturally gravitate to institutions that would maximize their growth potential," Acemoglu said. "Relatedly, we want to understand why some nations will be stuck with what we call 'extractive' institutions, which do not generally bring growth and development, while others will open for inclusive institutions, which encourage investment, innovation and technological change, underpinning growth-based prosperity."
Although many economists were familiar with the Acemoglu-Robinson theory, "Why Nations Fail" offered many non-economists their first glimpse of the idea. "We really wanted to provide a simple framework for informed lay people. We thought this was important because a lot of people worry about the economic disparities around the world," Acemoglu said.
The lecture, named in honor of the late George Staller, a Cornell professor, graduate and scholar of Eastern European and Soviet economies, is made possible by a gift from Russell B. Hawkins '77 and is sponsored by the Economics Department.
Mary Catt is assistant director of communications at the ILR School.