The Laws of Capitalism

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have written a critique of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century - it is available here (hat tip - Graham Brownlow). Like his hero Karl Marx, Piketty attempts to uncover the general laws of capitalism. The following quotation provides a summary of Acemoglu and Robinson's critique:
But Like Marx, Piketty goes wrong for a very simple reason. The quest for general laws of capitalism - or any economic system - is misguided because it is a-institutional. It ignores that it is the institutions and political equilibrium of a society that determine how technology evolves, how markets function, and how the gains from various different economic arrangements are distributed. Despite his erudition, ambition, and creativity, Marx was ultimately led astray because of his disregard of institutions and politics. The same is true of Piketty.

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