Daron Acemoglu, the latest winner of the Clark Medal, is one more data point in the trend line away from mathematical viruosity and toward the The New Economic Paradigm. Consider, for example, his Lionel Robbins lectures on Understanding Institutions.

Institutions, the formal and informal rules governing economic and political interactions, are the major determinant of the cross-country differences in economic performance. Understanding the effect of institutions on economic outcomes and why institutions vary across countries must be a first step in any attempt to improve the long-run performance of less-developed nations in the world. These lectures will show that institutions are not purely determined by historical accidents or ideological differences, but are chosen by social groups with political power as a way of affecting current and future allocation of resources.

Thanks to “new economist” for the pointer.

For Discussion. Acemoglu’s primary institutional driver of prosperity is “freedom from expropriation.” What institutions are conducive to this?