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According to Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson’s Why Nations Fail, economic development hinges on a country’s political institutions. But their monocausal analysis ignores other important factors (such as geography) that can also affect growth.
As a matter of policy, Washington is committed to supporting development in impoverished countries, and most Americans believe that it is following through. In fact, U.S. assistance for the world's poorest countries is utterly inadequate. Only a new international development strategy can rectify the situation. Continued failure will be too expensive, for the United States and the world.