Economist, Co-author of ‘Why Nations Fail’ to Speak at Scranton


The co-author of “Why Nations Fail: Origins of Power, Poverty and Prosperity,” Daron Acemoglu, Ph.D., will address that topic at the Henry George Lecture at The University of Scranton on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public.

A prolific writer whose views are highly respected in the economics community, Dr. Acemoglu, The Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), believes that the choices made by a nation’s economic institutions directly impact whether that nation will succeed or fail. In his book, he explains the historical processes that have shaped these institutions in different parts of the world –primarily the distribution of political power in a society. Regarding the current U.S. federal deficit, he believes that instead of cutting spending, we should be stimulating economic growth by investing in green technology and other innovative initiatives.

“Dr. Acemoglu has taken the subject of political economic development to new levels,” said Satyajit Ghosh, Ph.D., professor of economics at The University of Scranton. “His writings have profoundly influenced many of the disciplines of economics and, in fact, may create new disciplines in the field.”

As a testament to the far-reaching influence of his writings, Dr. Acemoglu has earned several prestigious awards and prizes, including the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award, the Association of American Publishers Award, the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association, and the Sherwin Rosen Award from the Society of Labor Economics.

Dr. Acemoglu has been the keynote speaker at numerous conferences and lectures in Europe, North America and South America, and he has received many grants to pursue his topics of interest. He is a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Bureau of Research and Economic Analysis in Development; and a research associate of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, the Toulouse Information Technology Network, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Research Associate of the Centre for Economic Policy Research.

In addition to co-authoring “Why Nations Fail: Origins of Power, Poverty and Prosperity” and “Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy” with James Robinson, Ph.D., he wrote “Introduction to Modern Economic Growth.”

Dr. Acemoglu received his doctorate and master’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of York, England. Since the early 1990s, he has held positions at London School of Economics and MIT.

The University of Scranton’s Henry George Lecture Series is the preeminent public lecture series in economics in northeastern Pennsylvania. Eight of the previous lecturers have won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

The Economics and Finance Department at The University of Scranton and the campus chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honor society for economics, host the Henry George Lecture, which honors the 19th century American economist and social reformer.

For additional information about the Henry George Lecture, call The University of Scranton at 941-7475.

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