Monday, April 25, 2005

Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu acaba de ganar la medalla JBC... lo cual es una buena noticia
para el campo de economía política:

"Acemoglu is an extremely broad and productive economist. He has made
valuable contributions to several distinct fields, starting with labor
economics, and successively moving to macroeconomics, institutional
economics, and political economy. His most recent work on the role of
institutions in development and in political economy is especially
innovative, and has already had a large impact on research in these areas.
Although Acemoglu is primarily a theorist, his work is always motivated by
real-world questions that arise when facts are difficult to reconcile with
existing theory.

The Role of Institutions in Economic Development and Political Economy

Acemoglu has several papers that argue that institutions play a more
prominent role in development than was generally accepted. His 2002 QJE
paper with Johnson and Robinson argues that countries that were relatively
rich in 1500 are now relatively poor, a point that is inconsistent with the
view that geography is destiny. The argument, supported by empirical
evidence, is that this is due to colonizing countries treating rich and
densely populated countries differently from poor and sparsely populated
countries. In the former, they followed policies of extracting wealth and in
the latter they followed policies that encouraged investment. Acemoglu’s
2001 AER paper, also with Johnson and Robinson, uses differences in
mortality rates faced by Europeans in different countries to study further
the degree to which different policies lead to different institutions, which
in turn lead to different development paths. Some of the methods and the
conclusions of this paper are still being debated, but this line of
Acemoglu’s work has already stimulated substantial research that rethinks
the development process. In related work on political economy, for example
with Robinson in APSR 2001, he has examined the dynamics of political
processes and the persistence of inefficient policies. This work has been
influential in political science."

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