James A. Robinson is the Reverent Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor for the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, Institute Director of the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, an economist and political scientist. He earned a B.A. from the London School of Economics, an M.A. from the University of Warwick, and a Ph.D. from Yale University.
He takes a comparative approach to economics, studying how countries differ based on their economic and political institutions, and how those differences can lead to conflict or prosperity, particularly in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Robinson has conducted research in the field in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Sierra Leone, the Philippines, South Africa, Botswana and Chile.
He has written or co-written a number of books, including The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, and Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy.
In addition to his work at the University of Chicago, Robinson has also taught at the University of the Andes in Bogota for many years. He has been instrumental in setting the curriculum for future economists and scholars.
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