The Geographist and His Critics

The clash between Acemoglu/Robinson and Diamond continues …

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson review Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

Could it be that differences in social organization and institutions, rather than differences in geographic factors, are responsible for the different economic and social evolution of these societies?

They have in mind questions such as: why do some parts of the world have states while others do not? Or, why was China dominant in technology and prosperity in the fifteenth century, then backward for five centuries, and then rising over the last 30 years?

I would ask: Could it be that in addition to geographic differences and institutional differences other differences also influenced economic and social evolution?


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