Explanations for inequality

In: Uncategorized

22 Nov 2009

Daron Acemoglu, a professor of economics at MIT, summarises contemporary theories of global inequality in an article in Esquire (of all places). In broad terms two main lines of thought are popular nowadays: those that emphasise environmental factors such as geography and weather (such as Jeffrey Sachs) or natural endowments (such as Jared Diamond) or whose which emphasise “institutions” (which essentially means market incentives and stable politics).

Theories which look at society more broadly, such as Max Weber’s Protestant ethic, are summarily dismissed as superficial.