Why do some economies do better than others? How does society encourage the kind of market economy that generates continually increasing incomes? How do particular styles of government affect economic performance? World-renowned economist Mancur Olson tackles these questions and others in what will surely be regarded as his magnum opus. Olson contends that governments can play an essential role in the development of markets. Reliable enforcement of private contracts and protection of individual rights to property depend on governments strong enough not to undermine them. His exploration of "market-augmenting governments" will stand as a cutting-edge work on economic growth and provide a useful framework in which to consider the Asian financial crisis and its aftermath. As Susan Lee noted in Forbes, "his pioneering insights might have won a Nobel Prize for Olson had he lived a bit longer."