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About the Author(s)


 Daron Acemoglu is Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His areas of research include political economy, economic development and growth, human capital theory, growth theory, innovation, search theory, network economics and learning.

His recent research focuses on the political, economic, and social causes of differences in economic development across societies; the factors affecting the institutional and political evolution of nations; and how technology impacts growth and distribution of resources and is itself determined by economic and social incentives.

In addition to scholarly articles, Acemoglu has published several books: Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, jointly with James A. Robinson; Why Nations Fail, also jointly with Robinson; and Economics, jointly with David Laibson and John List.

Acemoglu is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the Science Academy (Turkey), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Econometric Society. He was the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, and the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Utrecht, Bosporus University, and the University of Athens. He received his B.A. in economics at the University of York, M.Sc. in mathematical economics and econometrics at the London School of Economics, and Ph.D. in economics at the London School of Economics. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife, Asu Ozdaglar, and his two young sons, Arda and Aras.


James A. Robinson is a research associate in the NBER's Programs on the History of the American Economy and Political Economy. As of July 1, 2015, he will be a University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Robinson's research focuses on comparative economic and political development from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Over the past two decades, he has conducted research and collected data in Botswana, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Colombia, where he teaches every summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá. He is co-author with Daron Acemoglu of the books Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy and Why Nations Fail.

Robinson received a B.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics in 1982, an M.A. in economics from the University of Warwick in 1987, and his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1993. Before joining the Chicago faculty, he taught at Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Southern California, and the University of Melbourne.

Robinson lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife and younger son. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the world with his elder son, dancing salsa with his wife, listening to music and reading history, anthropology, and archaeology books.


1. D. Acemoglu, S. Johnson, and J. A. Robinson, "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Paper 7771, June 2000, and American Economic Review, 91(5), 2001, pp. 1369-1401; D. Acemoglu, F. A. Gallego, and J. A. Robinson, "Institutions, Human Capital and Development," NBER Working Paper 19933, February 2014, and Annual Review of Economics, 6(1), 2014, pp. 875-912.   Go to ⤴︎
2. A. Lizzeri, and N. Persico, "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's 'Age of Reform,'" Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(2), 2004, pp. 707-65.   Go to ⤴︎
3. A. Alesina and D. Rodrik "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Paper 3668, March 1991, and Quarterly Journal of Economics, 109(2), 1994, pp. 465-90; T. Persson and G. Tabellini, "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?" NBER Working Paper 3599, January 1991, and American Economic Review, 84(3), 1994, pp. 600-21.   Go to ⤴︎
4. G. Saint-Paul and T. Verdier, "Education, Democracy and Growth," Journal of Development Economics, 42(2), 1993, pp. 399-407.   Go to ⤴︎
5. D. Acemoglu, J. A. Robinson, and R. Torvik, "Why Do Voters Dismantle Checks and Balances?" NBER Working Paper 17293, August 2011, and Review of Economic Studies, 80(3), 2013, pp. 845-75.   Go to ⤴︎
6. D. Acemoglu, S. Naidu, P. Restrepo, and J. A. Robinson, "Democracy Does Cause Growth," NBER Working Paper 20004, March 2014.   Go to ⤴︎
7. J. D. Angrist and G. Kuersteiner, "Causal Effects of Monetary Shocks: Semi-parametric Conditional Independence Tests with a Multinomial Propensity Score," Review of Economics and Statistics, 93(3), 2011, pp. 725-47.   Go to ⤴︎
8. J. D. Angrist, O. Jordá, and G. Kuersteiner, "Semiparametric Estimates of Monetary Policy Effects: String Theory Revisited," NBER Working Paper 19355, August 2013.   Go to ⤴︎
9. D. Acemoglu, S. Johnson, and J. A. Robinson, "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth." NBER Working Paper 9378, December 2002, and American Economic Review, 95(3), 2005, pp. 546-79; D. C. North and B. R. Weingast, "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutional Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," Journal of Economic History, 49(4), 1989, pp. 803-32.   Go to ⤴︎
10. P. B. Evans, Embedded Autonomy, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995; J. I. Herbst, States and Power in Africa, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000. Go to ⤴︎
11. E. Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell, 1983.   Go to ⤴︎
12. N. Elias, The Civilizing Process, Volume I. The History of Manners, Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell, 1969; N. Elias, The Civilizing Process, Volume II, State Formation and Civilization, Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell, 1982; M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, New York, New York: Random House, 1975.   Go to ⤴︎
13. R. E. Lucas, Jr., "Making a Miracle," Econometrica, 61(2), 1993, p. 251.   Go to ⤴︎
14. D. Acemoglu, C. García-Jimeno, and J. A. Robinson, "State Capacity and Economic Development: A Network Approach," NBER Working Paper 19813, January 2014, and forthcoming in American Economic Review.   Go to ⤴︎
15. M. Mann, Sources of State Power: Volume 1, A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760, New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Go to ⤴︎

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