Daron Acemoglu, is the Killian Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal, and is co-author of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.
He is a rock star among economics, and is presently one of the most cited academic economists among his peers.
Acemoglu explains why institutions are the key to a society’s economic success or failure. Institutions are some countries tumble into dictatorship while others become robust democracies. The failings of legal, educational, and governmental institutions is a substantial basis for the expanding wealth/income inequality in America.
He disagrees with the default position of economists that inequality reflects unequal human capital or productive capabilities, and what people earn is commensurate with their contribution to their employer. He believes this thesis is wrong due to the impact of both technology and institutions.
All of the books Acemoglu references are here.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunes, SoundCloud, Overcast and on Bloomberg. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunes, Soundcloud, Overcast and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with Ned Davis, technician and founder of Ned Davis Research.
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond