Key to our argument in Why Nations Fail is the idea that elites, when sufficiently political powerful, will often support economic institutions and policies inimical to sustained economic growth. Sometimes they will block new technologies; sometimes they will create a non-level playing field preventing the rest of society from realizing their economic potential; sometimes they will simply violate others’ rights destroying investment and innovation incentives.
An interesting article in The Economist’s Buttonwood column asks: Who are these rapacious elites in today’s Western economies?
Read it at Why Nations Fail
￼by Daron Acemoglu, Killian Professor of Economics at MIT, and James Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University
(h/t Mark Thoma)