James A. Robinson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from James A. Robinson (economist))
Jump to navigation Jump to search

James A. Robinson
James A. Robinson in Ukraine in June 2018
Robinson in 2018
Born
NationalityBritish
Academic background
Alma materYale University (Ph.D. 1993)
University of Warwick (M.A. 1986)
London School of Economics (BSc 1982)
Doctoral advisorTruman Bewley
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago
Harvard University
University of California at Berkeley
University of Southern California
University of Melbourne

James Alan Robinson (born 1960) is a British economist and political scientist. He is currently the Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago.[1][2] He also serves as the Institute Director of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the Harris School.[3] Robinson has previously taught at Harvard University between 2004 and 2015 and also at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California and the University of Melbourne.

He studies what makes countries different by focusing on the underlying economic and political institutions that lead some to prosperity and others to conflict. With Daron Acemoglu, he is the co-author of books such as The Narrow Corridor, Why Nations Fail and Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy.[4]

Life[edit]

Robinson studied economics at the London School of Economics (BSc), the University of Warwick (MA) and Yale University (PhD). His main research interests are in comparative economic and political development with a focus on the long-run with a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2004, he was appointed Associate Professor of Government at Harvard. He later held named chair positions at Harvard, first as the David Florence Professor of Government (2009-2014) and later as the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government (2014-2015).[5] On July 1, 2015, he was appointed as one of nine University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies of the University of Chicago.[6] He also holds the title Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies. On 9 May 2016, professor Robinson was awarded honorary doctor's degree by the National University of Mongolia during his first visit to the country.[7]

He has conducted research in countries around the world including Botswana, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Colombia where he teaches every summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.[8]

He has collaborated extensively with long-time co-author Daron Acemoglu after meeting at the London School of Economics.[9]

Academic research[edit]

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy[edit]

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (2006), co-authored by Robinson with Daron Acemoglu analyzes the creation and consolidation of democratic societies. They argue that "democracy consolidates when elites do not have strong incentive to overthrow it. These processes depend on (1) the strength of civil society, (2) the structure of political institutions, (3) the nature of political and economic crises, (4) the level of economic inequality, (5) the structure of the economy, and (6) the form and extent of globalization."[10]

Why Nations Fail[edit]

In Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (2012), Acemoglu and Robinson argue that economic growth at the forefront of technology requires political stability, which the Mayan civilization (to name only one) did not have,[11] and creative destruction. The latter cannot occur without institutional restraints on the granting of monopoly and oligopoly rights. They say that the industrial revolution began in Great Britain, because the English Bill of Rights 1689 created such restraints. For example, a steam boat built in 1705 by Denis Papin was demolished by a boatmen guild in Münden, Germany. Papin went to London, where several of his papers were published by the Royal Society. Thomas Newcomen extended Papin's work into a steam engines in 1712, and became a commercial success, while Papin died in 1713 and was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.[12]

Acemoglu and Robinson insist that "development differences across countries are exclusively due to differences in political and economic institutions, and reject other theories that attribute some of the differences to culture, weather, geography or lack of knowledge about the best policies and practices."[13] For example, "Soviet Russia generated rapid growth as it caught up rapidly with some of the advanced technologies in the world [but] was running out of steam by the 1970s" because of a lack of creative destruction.[14]

The Narrow Corridor[edit]

In The Narrow Corridor. States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty (2019), Acemoglu and Robinson argue that a free society is attained when the power of the state and of society evolved in rough balance. [15]

A critique of modernization theory[edit]

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, in their article "Income and Democracy" (2008) show that even though there is a strong cross-country correlation between income and democracy, once one controls for country fixed effects and removes the association between income per capita and various measures of democracy, there is "no causal effect of income on democracy."[16] In "Non-Modernization" (2022), they further argue that modernization theory cannot account for various paths of political development "because it posits a link between economics and politics that is not conditional on institutions and culture and that presumes a definite endpoint—for example, an 'end of history'."[17]

Publications[edit]

Books[edit]

  • James A. Robinson; Daron Acemoglu (2019). The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0735224384.
  • James A. Robinson; Emmanuel Akyeampong; Robert H. Bates; Nathan Nunn, eds. (2014). Africa's Development in Historical Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107691209.
  • James A. Robinson; Alice H. Amsden; Alisa DiCaprio, eds. (2012). The Role of Elites in Economic Development. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-965903-6.
  • James A. Robinson; Daron Acemoglu (2012). Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. New York: Crown Business. ISBN 978-0307719218.
  • James A. Robinson; Jared Diamond, eds. (2010). Natural Experiments of History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03557-7.
  • James A. Robinson; Klaus Wiegandt, eds. (2008). Die Ursprünge der modernen Welt: Geschichte im wissenschaftlichen Vergleich (in German). Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3596179343.
  • James A. Robinson; Miguel Urrutia, eds. (2007). Economía Colombiana del Siglo XX: Un Análisis Cuantitativo (in Spanish). Bogotá and México D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica. ISBN 978-9583801396.
  • James A. Robinson; Daron Acemoglu (2006). Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-67142-6.

Articles[edit]

  • Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson. 2001. “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation.” American Economic Review Vol. 91, Nº 5: 1369–401.
  • Robinson, James A. 2006. “Economic Development and Democracy.” Annual Reviews of Political Science 9, 503-527.
  • Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, James A. Robinson, and Pierre Yared. 2008. "Income and Democracy." American Economic Review 98(3): 808-42.
  • Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, James A. Robinson, and Pierre Yared. 2009 “Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis.” Journal of Monetary Economics 56(8): 1043-58.
  • Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson. 2022. "Non-Modernization: Power–Culture Trajectories and the Dynamics of Political Institutions." Annual Review of Political Science 25(1): 323-339

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "James Robinson Named Faculty Director of The Pearson Institute". UChicago News. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  2. ^ "James Robinson | Harris Public Policy". harris.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ "The Pearson Institute Leadership".
  4. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF).
  6. ^ "James Robinson Appointed University Professor at Chicago Harris".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "World Bank Live Featured Speaker".
  9. ^ "IMF Profile: Daron Acemoglu" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy". Cambridge University Press.
  11. ^ e.g., p. 143
  12. ^ esp. pp. 202-203.
  13. ^ Radelet, Steven (12 October 2012). "Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson". United States Agency for International Development. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017.
  14. ^ p. 150.
  15. ^ Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty. New York: Penguin, 2019.
  16. ^ Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, James A. Robinson, and Pierre Yared, "Income and Democracy." American Economic Review 98(3) 2008: 808-42.
  17. ^ Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, "Non-Modernization: Power–Culture Trajectories and the Dynamics of Political Institutions." Annual Review of Political Science 25(1) 2022: 323-339, p. 324.[1]

External links[edit]