Nemmers Prize Lecture
"State Building: A Political Economy Perspective"
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Free and Open to the Public
McCormick Auditorium, James L. Allen Center
Many of the poorest nations in the world are characterized by a lack of stable state institutions. State building is more than a process of constructing a bureaucracy. It also involves a process of political centralization, which creates a major political economy challenge. The process of state building is often initiated by individuals and groups with visions and interests distinct from those of the rest of society, and it can easily translate into their domination or even dictatorship over society. This talk will present historical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on how state institutions matter for economic development, how the process of state building is constrained by political economy factors, and how state centralization if not accompanied by the strengthening of inclusive political institutions, creates its own political trap.
Daron Acemoglu is the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural T. W. Shultz Prize from the University of Chicago, the Sherwin Rosen Award for outstanding contributions to labor economics in 2004, and the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005. His research interests include political economy, economic development and growth, human capital theory, growth theory, innovation, search theory, network economics, and learning. He is the co-author with James Robinson of the 2012 book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.
Free parking is available in most campus parking lots after 4pm.
There will be a reception immediately following the lecture.