Taking a class co-taught by the co-author of Why Nations Fail has been one of the most difficult and depressing, albeit rewarding and reinvigorating, experiences. Coming from Tanzania one should have indeed not expected a course on 'Comparative Historical Economic Development' to splash scatterplots and ran regressions on the success of 'Sub-Saharan' Africa relative to Western Europe, North America or even East Asia. Thanks to twitter, I stumbled on the debate that is raging on after the publication of a couple of critical reviews of the book. Brief as they are meant to be, these pieces and their responses make an illuminating - and ironic - read. You can access them via the hyperlinks below.
Which Nations Failed? Democracy, Development and the Uncooperative Realities of Chinese and Indian History by Arvind Subramanian
China, India and All That by Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson
Response to Jeffrey Sachs by Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson
I can hardly wait to read reviews from African economists and economic historians - of course I am thinking of the likes of Thandika Mkandawire, who wrote The Intellectual Itinerary of Jeffrey Sachs.