Economist Daron Acemoglu and co-author James Robinson spoke at the Center for American Progress on March 23 about their new book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. Acemoglu and Robinson conclude that manmade political and economic institutions that foster a strong middle class create powerful forces for economic growth and national success. They encourage investment because of well-enforced property rights. They harness the power of markets through better allocation of resources. They promote the entry of more efficient firms, and they make it easier for new businesses to get financing. These factors in turn generate broad-based civic participation in economic and social life.
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