Millennials and Why Nations Fail
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

An interesting article in The New York Times by Tom Agan argues that millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are likely to revolutionize companies and innovation, with the company insiders and elites being the only thing standing on their way.

Agan draws a parallel between the theory we lay out in Why Nations Fail on how the political resistance of elites holds back innovation and growth at the country level and the resistance of the company elites that prevents innovation and growth at the company level.

This accords well with new research by Daron joint with Ufuk Akcigit and Murat Alp Celik (both from the University of Pennsylvania), arguing and empirically documenting that openness to disruptive innovations at the country and the company level is a very major determinant of creative innovations. In fact, a key dimension of that openness is how the young are allowed, or not, to contribute to the creation of innovation and wealth. Companies (and countries) that allow the young to rise up within the corporate hierarchy are much more innovative and generate higher quality and more radical innovations. We will report in more detail on this research soon.

Article originally appeared on Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (
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