Daron Acemoglu is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include political and economic development, political economy, growth theory and human capital theory among others. He is the co‐​author of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, a book that examines the role of institutions in economic development.

Institutions — not geography, culture, or other factors — explain why some nations succeed and others fail. So says Daron Acemoglu in an ambitious new book drawing evidence from thousands of years of human history and from societies as diverse as those of the Inca Empire, 17th century England, and contemporary Botswana. Inclusive political and economic institutions, influenced by critical junctures in history, produce virtuous cycles that reinforce pluralism in the market and in politics.