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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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  • Rich and well researched

    This is one of the favorite books I have read. It has greatly influenced my views on how the world works and what sound govrnment should entail. I would recommend for policy enthusiasts and officials in office.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Comprehensive and insightful

    A panoramic tour of history and geography. Why do nations succeed? Because they (examples include England, the US,Australia and - interestingly - Botswana) develop inclusive political and economic institutions against a background of unifying, stable but not-too-overbearing government. They do not have extractive institutions and economic advancement is not a zero-sum game. Why do nations fail? Because they (examples include Sierra Leone and many African countries as well as Russia) are controlled by corrupt elites (or oligarchs) who manage the political and economic institutions and extract rent, not only advantaging themselves to the detriment of others, sometimes capriciously sabotaging the economic interests of the out group in order to ensure the out group cannot parlay economic power into political influence. What implications does all this have for the authoritarian capitalist model of China? According to the authors, if I read them correctly, China is currently harvesting the low-hanging fruit as it catches up, But in the long run, the elites (the CCP) have an interest in extracting from the rest, and this may lead to a slowdown and disenchantment.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Clear concise

    A wonderfully uncomplicated exlanation of worldwide development of political and economic institutions, covering Democracies, Dictatorships and Communism, from a historical and Imperial perspective

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  • Why Nations Fail

    This book really makes you think about the world around you.

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    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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