WIDER Seminar Series

James Robinson on business and fragility in Africa

WIDER Seminar Series

James Robinson will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 22 March 2019. 

Abstract – Business and fragility in Africa: solution or problem?

There’s never been an experience of successful sustained economic growth without the private sector playing a critical role.

But the evidence is mixed on the impact of the private sector in societies with fragile weak institutions. I distinguish between the impact of the private sector 'in the small' holding the broader political economy constant, and 'in the large' where the political economy is endogenous. I try to identify the circumstances under which the private sector and can play a positive role in helping states exit fragility.

About the speaker

James Robinson is a University Professor at the Harris School for Public Policy, one of only 9 University Professors at the University of Chicago. He is also Institute Director at The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. He studied economics at the London School of Economics, the University of Warwick and Yale University and before coming to Chicago taught in the Departments of Government, Economics, History, and Human and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. His main research interests are in comparative development. He is co-author with Daron Acemoglu of Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy and Why Nations Fail, which has been translated into 35 languages including Arabic, Dari, Farsi and Mongolian. Their next book, Balance of Power, will be published by Penguin in 2019. He currently conducts research in Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia where he has taught for over 20 years every summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

For more information email richardson@wider.unu.edu

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