Bibliographic Essay and Sources


Mohamed El Baradei’s views can be found at!/ElBaradei.

Mosaab El Shami and Noha Hamed quotes are from Yahoo! news 2/6/2011, at

On the twelve immediate demands posted on Wael Khalil’s blog, see

Reda Metwaly is quoted on Al Jazeera, 2/1/2011, at

Chapter 1: So Close and Yet So Different

A good discussion of the Spanish exploration of the Rio de La Plata is Rock (1992), chap. 1. On the discovery and colonization of the Guaraní, see Ganson (2003). The quotations from de Sahagún are from de Sahagún (1975), pp. 47–49. Gibson (1963) is fundamental on the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the institutions they structured. The quotations from de las Casas come from de las Casas (1992), pp. 39, 117–18, and 107, respectively.

On Pizarro in Peru, see Hemming (1983). Chaps. 1–6 cover the meeting at Cajamarca and the march south and the capture of the Inca capital, Cuzco. See Hemming (1983), chap. 20, on de Toledo. Bakewell (1984) gives an overview of the functioning of the Potosí mita, and Dell (2010) provides statistical evidence that shows how it has had persistent effects over time.

The quote from Arthur Young is reproduced from Sheridan (1973), p. 8. There are many good books that describe the early history of Jamestown: for example, Price (2003), and Kupperman (2007). Our treatment is heavily influenced by Morgan (1975) and Galenson (1996). The quote from Anas Todkill comes from p. 38 of Todkill (1885). The quotes from John Smith are from Price (2003), p. 77 (“Victuals . . .”), p. 93 (“If your king . . .”), and p. 96 (“When you send . . .”). The Charter of Maryland, the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, and other colonial constitutions have been put on the Internet by Yale University’s Avalon Project.

Bakewell (2009), chap. 14, discusses the independence of Mexico and the constitution. See Stevens (1991) and Knight (2011) on postindependence political instability and presidents. Coatsworth (1978) is the seminal paper on the evidence on economic decline in Mexico after independence. Haber (2010) presents the comparison of the development of banking in Mexico and the United States. Sokoloff (1988) and Sokoloff and Khan (1990) provide evidence on the social background of innovators in the United States who filed patents. See Israel (2000) for a biography of Thomas Edison. Haber, Maurer, and Razo (2003) proposes an interpretation of the political economy of the regime of Porfirio Díaz very much in the spirit of our discussion. Haber, Klein, Maurer, and Middlebrook (2008) extend this treatment of Mexico’s political economy into the twentieth century. On the differential allocation of frontier lands in North and Latin America, see Nugent and Robinson (2010) and García-Jimeno and Robinson (2011). Hu-DeHart (1984) discusses the deportation of the Yaqui people in chap. 6. On the fortune of Carlos Slim and how it was made, see Relea (2007) and Martinez (2002).

Our interpretation of comparative economic development of the Americas builds on our own previous research with Simon Johnson, particularly Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001, 2002), and has also been heavily influenced by Coatsworth (1978, 2008) and Engerman and Sokoloff (1997).

Chapter 2: Theories That Don’t Work

Jared Diamond’s views on world inequality are laid out in his book Guns, Germs and Steel (1997). Sachs (2006) sets out his own version of geographical determinism. Views about culture are widely spread throughout the academic literature but have never been brought together in one work. Weber (2002) argued that it was the Protestant Reformation that explained why it was Europe that had the Industrial Revolution. Landes (1999) proposed that Northern Europeans developed a unique set of cultural attitudes that led them to work hard, save, and be innovative. Harrison and Huntington, eds. (2000), is a forceful statement of the importance of culture for comparative economic development. The notion that there is some sort of superior British culture or superior set of British institutions is widespread and used to explain U.S. exceptionalism (Fisher, 1989) and also patterns of comparative development more generally (La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, and Shleifer, 2008). The works of Banfield (1958) and Putnam, Leonardi, and Nanetti (1994) are very influential cultural interpretations of how one aspect of culture, or “social capital,” as they call it, makes the south of Italy poor. For a survey of how economists use notions of culture, see Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales (2006). Tabellini (2010) examines the correlation between the extent to which people trust each other in Western Europe and levels of annual income per capita. Nunn and Wantchekon (2010) show how the lack of trust and social capital in Africa is correlated with the historical intensity of the slave trade.

The relevant history of the Kongo is presented in Hilton (1985) and Thornton (1983). On the historical backwardness of African technology, see the works of Goody (1971), Law (1980), and Austen and Headrick (1983).

The definition of economics proposed by Robbins is from Robbins (1935), p. 16.

The quote from Abba Lerner is in Lerner (1972), p. 259. The idea that ignorance explains comparative development is implicit in most economic analyses of economic development and policy reform: for example, Williamson (1990); Perkins, Radelet, and Lindauer (2006); and Aghion and Howitt (2009). A recent, forceful version of this view is developed in Banerjee and Duflo (2011).

Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001, 2002) provide a statistical analysis of the relative role of institutions, geography, and culture, showing that institutions dominate the other two types of explanations in accounting for differences in per capita income today.

Chapter 3: The Making of Prosperity and Poverty

The reconstruction of the meeting between Hwang Pyo ̆ng-Wo ̆n and his brother is taken from James A. Foley’s interview of Hwang transcribed in Foley (2003), pp. 197–203.

The notion of extractive institutions originates from Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001). The terminology of inclusive institutions was suggested to us by Tim Besley. The terminology of economic losers and the distinction between them and political losers comes from Acemoglu and Robinson (2000b). The data on Barbados comes from Dunn (1969). Our treatment of the Soviet economy relies on Nove (1992) and Davies (1998). Allen (2003) provides an alternative and more positive interpretation of Soviet economic history.

In the social science literature there is a great deal of research related to our theory and argument. See Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2005b) for an overview of this literature and our contribution to it. The institutional view of comparative development builds on a number of important works. Particularly notable is the work of North; see North and Thomas (1973), North (1982), North and Weingast (1989), and North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009). Olson (1984) also provided a very influential account of the political economy of economic growth. Mokyr (1990) is a fundamental book that links economic losers to comparative technological change in world history. The notion of economic losers is very widespread in social science as an explanation for why efficient institutional and policy outcomes do not occur. Our interpretation, which builds on Robinson (1998) and Acemoglu and Robinson (2000b, 2006b), differs by emphasizing the idea that the most important barrier to the emergence of inclusive institutions is elites’ fear that they will lose their political power. Jones (2003) provides a rich comparative history emphasizing similar themes, and Engerman and Sokoloff’s (1997) important work on the Americas also emphasizes these ideas. A seminal political economy interpretation of African underdevelopment was developed by Bates (1981, 1983, 1989), whose work heavily influenced ours. Seminal studies by Dalton (1965) and Killick (1978) emphasize the role of politics in African development and particularly how the fear of losing political power influences economic policy. The notion of political losers was previously implicit in other theoretical work in political economy, for instance, Besley and Coate (1998) and Bourguignon and Verdier (2000). The role of political centralization and state institutions in development has been most heavily emphasized by historical sociologists following the work by Max Weber. Notable is the work of Mann (1986, 1993), Migdal (1988), and Evans (1995). In Africa, work on the connection between the state and development is emphasized by Herbst (2000) and Bates (2001). Economists have recently begun to contribute to this literature; for example, Acemoglu (2005) and Besley and Persson (2011). Finally, Johnson (1982), Haggard (1990), Wade (1990), and Amsden (1992) emphasized how it was the particular political economy of East Asian nations that allowed them to be so economically successful. Finley (1965) made a seminal argument that slavery was responsible for the lack of technological dynamism in the classical world.

The idea that growth under extractive institutions is possible but is also likely to run out of steam is emphasized in Acemoglu (2008).

Chapter 4: Small Differences and Critical Junctures

Benedictow (2004) provides a definitive overview of the Black Death, though his assessments of how many people the plague killed are controversial. The quotations from Boccaccio and Ralph of Shrewsbury are reproduced from Horrox (1994). Hatcher (2008) provides a compelling account of the anticipation and arrival of the plague in England. The text of the Statute of Laborers is available online from the Avalon Project.

The fundamental works on the impact of the Black Death on the divergence of Eastern and Western Europe are North and Thomas (1973) and particularly Brenner (1976), whose analysis of how the initial distribution of political power affected the consequences of the plague has greatly influenced our thinking. See DuPlessis (1997) on the Second Serfdom in Eastern Europe. Conning (2010) and Acemoglu and Wolitzky (2011) develop formalizations of Brenner’s thesis. The quote from James Watt is reproduced from Robinson (1964), pp. 223–24. In Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2005a) we first presented the argument that it was the interaction between Atlantic trade and initial institutional differences that led to the divergence of English institutions and ultimately the Industrial Revolution. The notion of the iron law of oligarchy is due to Michels (1962). The notion of a critical juncture was first developed by Lipset and Rokkan (1967). On the role of institutions in the long-run development of the Ottoman Empire, the research of Owen (1981), Owen and Pamuk (1999), and Pamuk (2006) is fundamental.

Chapter 5: “I’ve Seen the Future, and It Works”

On Steffens’s mission to Russia and his words to Baruch, see Steffens (1931), chap. 18, pp. 790–802. For the number of people who starved in the 1930s, we use the figures of Davies and Wheatcroft (2004). On the 1937 census numbers, see Wheatcroft and Davies (1994a, 1994b). The nature of innovation in the Soviet economy is studied in Berliner (1976). Our discussion of how Stalinism, and particularly economic planning, really worked is based on Gregory and Harrison (2005). On how writers of U.S. economics textbooks continually got Soviet economic growth wrong, see Levy and Peart (2009).

Our treatment and interpretation of the Lele and the Bushong is based on the research of Douglas (1962, 1963) and Vansina (1978).

On the concept of the Long Summer, see Fagan (2003). An accessible introduction to the Natufians and archaeological sites we mention can be found in Mithen (2006) and Barker (2006). The seminal work on Abu Hureyra is Moore, Hillman, and Legge (2000), which documents how sedentary life and institutional innovation appeared prior to farming. See Smith (1998) for a general overview of the evidence that sedentary life preceded farming, and see Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen (1992) for the case of the Natufians. Our approach to the Neolithic Revolution is inspired by Sahlins (1972), which also has the anecdote about the Yir Yoront.

Our discussion of Maya history follows Martin and Grube (2000) and Webster (2002). The reconstruction of the population history of Copán comes from Webster, Freter, and Gonlin (2000). The number of dated monuments is from Sidrys and Berger (1979).

Chapter 6: Drifting Apart

The discussion of the Venetian case follows Puga and Trefler (2010), and chaps. 8 and 9 of Lane (1973).

The material on Rome is contained in any standard history. Our interpretation of Roman economic institutions follows Finlay (1999) and Bang (2008). Our account of Roman decline follows Ward-Perkins (2006) and Goldsworthy (2009). On institutional changes in the late Roman Empire, see Jones (1964). The anecdotes about Tiberius and Hadrian are from Finley (1999).

The evidence from shipwrecks was first used by Hopkins (1980). See De Callataÿ (2005) and Jongman (2007) for an overview of this and the Greenland Ice Core Project.

The Vindolanda tablets are available online at The quote we use comes from TVII Pub. no.: 343.

The discussion of the factors that led to the decline of Roman Britain follows Cleary (1989), chap. 4; Faulkner (2000), chap. 7; Dark (1994), chap. 2. On Aksum, see Munro-Hay (1991). The seminal work on European feudalism and its origins is Bloch (1961); see Crummey (2000) on Ethiopian feudalism. Phillipson (1998) makes the comparison between the collapse of Aksum and the collapse of the Roman Empire.

Chapter 7: The Turning Point

The story of Lee’s machine and meeting with Queen Elizabeth I is available at

Allen (2009b) presents the data on real wages using Diocletian’s Edict on Maximum Prices.

Our argument about the causes of the Industrial Revolution is highly influenced by the arguments made in North and Thomas (1973), North and Weingast (1989), Brenner (1993), Pincus (2009), and Pincus and Robinson (2010). These scholars in turn were inspired by earlier Marxist interpretations of British institutional change and the emergence of capitalism; see Dobb (1963) and Hill (1961, 1980). See also Tawney’s (1941) thesis about how the state building project of Henry VIII changed the English social structure.

The text of the Magna Carta is available online at the Avalon Project.

Elton (1953) is the seminal work on the development of state institutions under Henry VIII, and Neale (1971) relates these to the evolution of parliament.

On the Peasants’ Revolt, see Hilton (2003). The quote from Hill on monopolies is from Hill (1961), p. 25. On Charles I’s period of “personal rule,” we follow Sharp (1992). Our evidence on how different groups and regions sided either for or against Parliament comes from Brunton and Pennington (1954), Hill (1961), and Stone (2001). Pincus (2009) is fundamental on the Glorious Revolution and discusses many of the specific changes in policies and economic institutions; for example, the repeal of the Hearth Tax and the creation of the Bank of England. See also Pincus and Robinson (2010). Pettigrew (2007, 2009) discusses the attack on monopolies, including the Royal African Company, and our data on petitioning comes from his papers. Knights (2010) emphasizes the political importance of petitioning. Our information on Hoare’s Bank comes from Temin and Voth (2008).

Our information about Superviser Cowperthwaite and the excise tax bureaucracy comes from Brewer (1988).

Our overview of the economic history of the Industrial Revolution rests on Mantoux (1961), Daunton (1995), Allen (2009a), and Mokyr (1990, 2009), who provide details on the famous inventors and inventions we discuss. The story about the Baldwyn family is from Bogart and Richardson (2009, 2011), who stress the connection between the Glorious Revolution, the reorganization of property rights, and the construction of roads and canals. On the Calicoe Acts and Manchester Acts, see O’Brien, Griffiths, and Hunt (1991), which is the source of the quotes from the legislation. On the dominance of new people in industry, see Daunton (1995), chap. 7, and Crouzet (1985). Our account of why the major institutional changes first took place in England is based on Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2005a) and Brenner (1976). The data on the number of independent merchants and their political preferences come from Zahedieh (2010).

Chapter 8: Not on Our Turf

On the opposition to the printing press in the Ottoman Empire, see Savage-Smith (2003) pp. 656–59. Comparative historical literacy comes from Easterlin (1981).

Our discussion of political institutions of Spain follows Thompson (1994a, 1994b). For evidence on the economic decline of Spain over this period, see Nogal and Prados de la Escosura (2007).

Our discussion of the impediments to economic development in Austria-Hungary follows Blum (1943), Freudenberger (1967), and Gross (1973). The quotation from Maria Theresa comes from Freudenberger, p. 495. All other quotations from Count Hartig and Francis I are from Blum. Francis’s reply to the delegates from the Tyrol is quoted from Jászi (1929), pp. 80–81. The comment of Friedrich von Gentz to Robert Owen is also quoted from Jászi (1929), p. 80. The experience of the Rothschilds in Austria is discussed in chap. 2 of Corti (1928).

Our analysis of Russia follows Gerschenkron (1970). The quotation from Kropotkin is from p. 60 of the 2009 edition of his book. The conversation between Nicholas and Mikhail is quoted from Saunders (1992), p. 117. Kankrin’s quote on railways is in Owen (1991), pp. 15–16.

The speech by Nicholas to the manufacturers is reproduced from Pintner (1967), p. 100.

The quote from A. A. Zakrevskii is from Pintner (1967), p. 235.

On Admiral Zheng, see Dreyer (2007). The economic history of early Modern China is covered by Myers and Wang (2002). The quote from T’ang Chen is quoted from Myers and Wang, pp. 564–65.

See Zewde (2002) for an overview of the relevant Ethiopian history. The data on how extractive Ethiopia has been historically come from Pankhurst (1961), as do all the quotes we reproduce here.

Our description of Somali institutions and history follows Lewis (1961, 2002). The heer of the Hassan Ugaas is reproduced on p.177 of Lewis (1961); our description of a feud comes from chap. 8 of Lewis (1961), where he reports many other examples. On the Kingdom of Taqali and writing, see Ewald (1988).

Chapter 9: Reversing Development

Our discussion of the takeover of Ambon and Banda by the Dutch East India Company and the company’s negative effect on the development of Southeast Asia follows Hanna (1978) and particularly Reid (1993), chap. 5. The quotes from Reid on Tomé Pires are from p. 271; the Dutch factor in Maguindanao, p. 299; the sultan of Maguindanao, pp. 299–300. Data on the impact of the Dutch East India Company on the price of spices come from O’Rourke and Williamson (2002).

A definitive overview of slavery in African society and the impact of the slave trade is Lovejoy (2000). Lovejoy, p. 47, Table 31, reports consensus estimates of the extent of the slave trade. Nunn (2008) provided the first quantitative estimates of the impact of the slave trade on African economic institutions and economic growth. The data on firearms and gunpowder imports are from Inikori (1977). The testimony of Francis Moore is quoted from Lovejoy (2000), pp. 89–90. Law (1977) is a seminal study of the expansion of the Oyo state. The estimates of the impact of the slave trade on population in Africa are taken from Manning (1990). Lovejoy (2000), chap. 8, the essays in Law (1995), and the important book of Austin (2005) are the basis for our discussion of the analysis of the period of “legitimate commerce.” Data on the proportion of Africans who were slaves in Africa comes from Lovejoy (2000), e.g., p. 192, Table 9.2.

Data on labor in Liberia is from Clower, Dalton, Harwitz, and Walters (1966).

The dual economy idea was developed by Lewis (1954). Fergusson (2010) develops a mathematical model of the dual economy. The notion that this was a creation of colonialism was first proposed in the seminal collection of essays edited by Palmer and Parsons (1977). Our account of South Africa is based on Bundy (1979) and Feinstein (2005).

The Moravian missionary is quoted in Bundy (1979), p. 46, and John Hemming is quoted in Bundy, p. 72. The spread of land ownership in Griqualand East is from Bundy, p. 89; the exploits of Stephen Sonjica are from Bundy, p. 94; the quote from Matthew Blyth is from p. 97; and the quote from a European observer in Fingoland 1884 is from Bundy, pp. 100–101. George Albu is quoted in Feinstein (2005), p. 63; secretary for native affairs is quoted from Feinstein, p. 45; and Verwoerd is quoted from Feinstein, p. 159. Data on the real wages of African gold miners are from p. 66 of Wilson (1972). G. Findlay is quoted in Bundy (1979), p. 242.

The notion that the development of the rich countries of the West is the mirror image of the underdevelopment of the rest of the world was originally developed by Wallertsein (1974–2011), though he emphasizes very different mechanisms than we do.

Chapter 10: The Diffusion of Prosperity

This chapter builds heavily on our previous research with Simon Johnson and Davide Cantoni: Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2002) and Acemoglu, Cantoni, Johnson, and Robinson (2010, 2011).

Our discussion of the development of early institutions in Australia follows the seminal work of Hirst (1983, 1988, 2003) and Neal (1991). The original manuscript of the writ issued to Judge Collins is available (thanks to the Macquarie University Law School in Australia).

Macarthur’s characterization of Wentworth’s supporters is quoted from Melbourne (1963), pp. 131–32.

Our discussion of the origins of the Rothschilds follows Ferguson (1998); Mayer Rothschild’s remark to his son is reproduced from Ferguson, p. 76.

Our discussion of the impact of the French on European institutions is taken from Acemoglu, Cantoni, Johnson, and Robinson (2010, 2011) and the references therein. See Doyle (2002) for a standard overview of the French Revolution. Information on the feudal dues in Nassau-Usingen is from Lenger (2004), p. 96. Ogilivie (2011) overviews the historical impact of guilds on European development.

For a treatment of the life of O ̄kubo Toshimichi, see Iwata (1964). Sakamoto Ryu ̄ma’s eight-point plan is reproduced from Jansen (2000), p. 310.

Chapter 11: The Virtuous Circle

Our discussion of the Black Act follows Thompson (1975). Baptist Nunn’s report of June 27 is from Thompson (1975), pp. 65–66. The other quotes are from Thompson’s section on the rule of law, pp. 258–69, which is well worth reading in its entirety.

Our approach to democratization in England is based on Acemoglu and Robinson (2000a, 2001, and 2006a). Earl Grey’s speech is quoted from Evans (1996), p. 223. Stephens’s comment about democracy is quoted in Briggs (1959), p. 34. Thompson’s quote is from Thompson (1975), p. 269.

The entire text of the People’s Charter can be found in Cole and Filson (1951).

The quote from Burke is taken from Burke (1790/1969), p. 152.

Lindert (2004, 2009) is a seminal treatment of the coevolution of democracy and public policy over the past two hundred years.

Keyssar (2009) is a seminal introduction to the evolution of political rights in the United States. Vanderbilt is quoted in Josephson (1934), p. 15. The text of Roosevelt’s address is at

The quote from Woodrow Wilson is from Wilson (1913), p. 286.

The text of President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat can be found at

Data on the relative tenure of Supreme Court justices in Argentina and the United States is presented in Iaryczower, Spiller, and Tommasi (2002). Helmke (2004) discusses the history of court packing in Argentina and quotes Justice Carlos Fayt.

Chapter 12: The Vicious Circle

This chapter heavily relies on our theoretical and empirical research on institutional persistence, particularly Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2005b) and Acemoglu and Robinson (2008a). Heath (1972) and Kelley and Klein (1980) made a seminal application of the iron law of oligarchy to the 1952 Bolivian Revolution.

The quote from the British parliamentary papers is reproduced from p. 15 of House of Commons (1904). The early political history of postindependence Sierra Leone is well told in Cartwright (1970). Though interpretations differ as to why Siaka Stevens pulled up the railway line, the salient one is that he did this to isolate Mendeland. In this we follow Abraham and Sesay (1993), p. 120; Richards (1996), pp. 42–43; and Davies (2007), pp. 684–85. Reno (1995, 2003) are the best treatments of Stevens’s regime. The data on the agricultural marketing boards comes from Davies (2007). On the murder of Sam Bangura by defenestration, see Reno (1995), pp. 137–41. Jackson (2004), p. 63, and Keen (2005), p. 17, discuss the acronyms ISU and SSD.

Bates (1981) is the seminal analysis of how marketing boards destroyed agricultural productivity in post-independence Africa, see Goldstein and Udry (2009) on how political connections to chiefs determine property rights to land in Ghana.

On the relation between politicians in 1993 and the conquistadors, see Dosal (1995), chap. 1, and Casaús Arzú (2007). Our discussion of the policies of the Consulado de Comercio follows Woodward (1966). The quote from President Barrios is from McCreery (1994), pp. 187–88. Our discussion of the regime of Jorge Ubico follows Grieb (1979).

Our discussion of the underdevelopment of the U.S. South follows Acemoglu and Robinson (2008b). See Wright (1978) on the pre–Civil War development of the slave economy, and Bateman and Weiss (1981) on the dearth of industry. Fogel and Engerman (1974) give a different and controversial interpretation. Wright (1986) and Ransom and Sutch (2001) give overviews of the extent to which the southern economy after 1865 really changed. Congressman George Washington Julian is quoted in Wiener (1978), p. 6. The same book contains the analysis of the persistence of the southern landed elite after the Civil War. Naidu (2009) examines the impact of the introduction of poll taxes and literacy tests in the 1890s in southern states. The quotation from W.E.B. Du Bois is in his book Du Bois (1903), p. 88. Clause 256 of the Alabama constitution can be found at

Alston and Ferrie (1999) discuss how southern politicians blocked federal legislation they thought would disrupt the South’s economy. Woodward (1955) gives a seminal overview of the creation of Jim Crow.

Overviews of the Ethiopian revolution are provided in Halliday and Molyneux (1981). On the Emperor’s cushions, see Kapus ́cin ́ski (1983). The quotes from Dawit Wolde Giorgis are from Dawit Wolde Giorgis (1989), pp. 49 and 48, respectively.

Chapter 13: Why Nations Fail Today

For the BBC report on Mugabe’s lottery success, including the public statement of Zimbank, see

Our treatment of the creation of white rule in Rhodesia follows Palmer (1977) and Alexander (2006). Meredith (2007) provides a good overview of more recent Zimbabwean politics.

Our account of the civil war in Sierra Leone follows Richards (1996), Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2004), and Keen (2005). The analysis published in a newspaper in the capital city of Freetown in 1995 is quoted from Keen (2005), p. 34. The text of the RUF’s “Footpaths to Democracy” can be found at

The quotation from the teenager from Geoma is from Keen (2005), p. 42.

Our discussion of the Colombian paramilitaries follows Acemoglu, Robinson, and Santos (2010) and Chaves and Robinson (2010), which in turn heavily rely on the extensive work by Colombian scholars, particularly Romero (2003), the essays in Romero (2007), and López (2010). León (2009) is an accessible and balanced account of the nature of contemporary conflicts in Colombia. Also fundamental is the Web site run by the weekly news-paper Semana, All the quotes come from Acemoglu, Robinson, and Santos (2010). The contract between Martín Llanos and the mayors in Casanare is available in Spanish at

The origins and consequences of El Corralito are well presented in a series of articles in The Economist magazine, available at

On the role of the interior in Argentine development, see Sawers (1996).

Hassig and Oh (2009) provides an excellent, valuable account of life in North Korea. Chap. 2 covers the luxurious lifestyle of the leadership, and chaps. 3 and 4, the economic realities that most people face. The BBC coverage of the currency reform can be found at

On the pleasure palace and brandy consumption, see chap. 12 of Post (2004).

Our discussion of child labor and its use for picking cotton in Uzbeksitan follows Kandiyoti (2008), available at The quote from Gulnaz is on p. 20 of Kandiyoti. On the Andijon uprising, see International Crisis Group (2005). The description of the election of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union is reproduced from Denny (1937).

Our analysis of “crony capitalism” in Egypt follows Sfakianakis (2004).

Chapter 14: Breaking the Mold

Our treatment of Botswana follows Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2003); Robinson and Parsons (2006); and Leith (2005). Schapera (1970) and Parsons, Henderson, and Tlou (1995) are fundamental works. High Commissioner Rey is quoted in Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2003), p. 96. The discussion of the three chiefs’ visit to England follows Parsons (1998), and all quotes relating to this come from his book: Chamberlain, pp. 206–7; Fairfield, p. 209; and Rhodes, p. 223. Schapera is quoted from Schapera (1940), p. 72. The quote from Quett Masire is from Masire (2006), p. 43. On the ethnic composition of the Tswana tribes, see Schapera (1952).

Our treatment of change in the U.S. South follows Acemoglu and Robinson (2008b). On the population movement out of the U.S. South, see Wright (1999); on the mechanization of cotton picking, Heinicke (1994). “FRDUM FOOF SPETGH” is quoted from Mickey (2008), p. 50. Thurmond’s 1948 speech is taken from, where you also can listen to the audio recording. On James Meredith and Oxford, Mississippi, see Doyle (2001). See Wright (1999) on the impact of civil rights legislation on black voting in the South.

On the nature and politics of China’s political transition after the death of Mao, see Harding (1987) and MacFarquhar and Schoenhals (2008). Deng’s quote about the cat is from Harding, p. 58. The first point of the Cultural Revolution is from Schoenhals (1996), p. 33; Mao on Hitler is from MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, p. 102; Hua on the “Two Whatevers” is from Harding, p. 56.

Chapter 15: Understanding Prosperity and Poverty

For the story of Dai Guofang, see McGregor (2010), pp. 219–26. The story of red telephones is also from McGregor, chap. 1. On the control of the party over media, see Pan (2008), chap. 9, and McGregor (2010), pp. 64–69 and 235–62. The quotes on the party’s attitudes toward entrepreneurs are from McGregor (2010), pp. 200–201 and 223. For Wen Jiabao’s comments on political reforms in China, see

The modernization hypothesis is clearly articulated in Lipset (1959). The evidence against it is discussed in detail in Acemoglu, Johnson, Robinson, and Yared (2008, 2009). George H. W. Bush’s quote is from Our discussion of NGO activity and foreign aid in Afghanistan after December 2001 draws on Ghani and Lockhart (2008). See also Reinikka and Svensson (2004) and Easterly (2006) on problems of foreign aid.

Our discussion of problems of macroeconomic reform and inflation in Zimbabwe is from Acemoglu, Johnson, Robinson, and Querubín (2008). The Seva Mandir discussion is drawn from Banerjee, Duflo, and Glennerster (2008).

The formation of the Workers’ Party in Brazil is covered in Keck (1992); on the Scânia strike, see chap. 4. The quote from Cardoso is from Keck, pp. 44–45; the quote from Lula is on Keck, p. 65.

The discussion of the efforts of Fujimori and Montesinos to control the media is from McMillan and Zoido (2004), and the quote on the Chinese Communist Party’s control is from McGregor (2010), p. 69.

Sources for the Maps

Map 1: The Inca Empire and road system are adapted from John V. Murra (1984), “Andean Societies before 1532,” in Leslie Bethell, ed., The Cambridge History of Latin America, vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press). The map of the mita catchment area is taken from Melissa Dell (2010), “The Persistent Effects of Peru’s Mining Mita,” Econometrica 78:6, 1863–1903.

Map 2: Drawn using data from Miriam Bruhn and Francisco Gallego (2010), “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Do They Matter for Economic Development?” forthcoming in the Review of Economics and Statistics.

Map 3: Drawn using data from World Development Indicators (2008), the World Bank.

Map 4: Map of wild pigs adapted from W. L. R. Oliver; I. L. Brisbin, Jr.; and S. Takahashi (1993), “The Eurasian Wild Pig (Sus scrofa),” in W. L. R. Oliver, ed., Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos: Status Survey and Action Plan (Gland, Switzerland: IUCN), pp. 112–21. Wild cattle adapted from map of aurochs from Cis van Vuure (2005), Retracing the Aurochs (Sofia: Pensoft Publishers), p. 41.

Map 5: Adapted from Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf (2001), The Domestication of Plants in the Old World, 3rd edition (New York: Oxford University Press), wheat map 4, p. 56; barley map 5, p. 55. Map of rice distribution adapted from Te-Tzu Chang (1976), “The Origin, Evolution, Cultivation, Dissemination, and Diversification of Asian and African Rices,” Euphytica 25, 425–41, figure 2, p. 433.

Map 6: The Kuba Kingdom is based on Jan Vansina (1978), The Children of Woot (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press), map 2, p. 8. Kongo based on Jan Vansina (1995), “Equatorial Africa Before the Nineteenth Century,” in Philip Curtin, Steven Feierman, Leonard Thompson, and Jan Vansina, African History: From Earliest Times to Independence (New York: Longman), map 8.4, p. 228.

Map 7: Drawn using data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS), which reports images of the Earth at night captured from 20:00 to 21:30 local time from an altitude of 830 km (

Map 8: Constructed from data in Jerome Blum (1998), The End of the Old Order in Rural Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press).

Map 9: Adapted from the maps in Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker (1988), The Spanish Armada (London: Hamilton), pp. i–ii, 243.

Map 10: Adapted from Simon Martin and Nikolai Gribe (2000), Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya (London: Thames and Hudson), p. 21.

Map 11: Map adapted from Mark A. Kishlansky, Patrick Geary, and Patricia O’Brien (1991), Civilization in the West (New York: HarperCollins Publishers), p. 151.

Map 12: Somali clan families adapted from Ioan M. Lewis (2002), A Modern History of Somalia (Oxford: James Currey), map of “Somali ethnic and clan-family distribution 2002”; map of Aksum adapted from Kevin Shillington (1995), History of Africa, 2nd edition (New York: St. Martin’s Press), map 5.4, p. 69.

Map 13: J. R. Walton (1998), “Changing Patterns of Trade and Interaction Since 1500,” in R. A. Butlin and R. A. Dodgshon, eds., An Historical Geography of Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press), figure 15.2, p. 326.

Map 14: Adapted from Anthony Reid (1988), Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680: Volume 1, The Land Below the Winds (New Haven: Yale University Press), map 2, p. 9.

Map 15: Drawn from data taken from Nathan Nunn (2008), “The Long Term Effects of Africa’s Slave Trades,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 123, no. 1, 139–76.

Map 16: Maps based on the following maps: for South Africa, A. J. Christopher (2001), The Atlas of Changing South Africa (London: Routledge), figure 1.19, p. 31; for Zimbabwe, Robin Palmer (1977), Land and Racial Domination in Rhodesia (Berkeley: University of California Press), map 5, p. 245.

Map 17: Adapted from Alexander Grab (2003), Napoleon and the Transformation of Europe (London: Palgrave Macmillan), map 1, p. 17; map 2, p. 91.

Map 18: Drawn using data from the 1840 U.S. Census, downloadable at the National Historical Geographic Information System:

Map 19: Drawn using data from the 1880 U.S. Census, downloadable at the National Historical Geographic Information System:

Map 20: Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson, and Rafael J. Santos (2010), “The Monopoly of Violence: Evidence from Colombia,” at