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Development Economics and Method: A Quarter Century of ABCDE


  • Kaushik Basu
  • Andrew Foster


This, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) and also of the Washington Consensus, is a good time to take stock of development economics. What have we learned? What do we need to unlearn? What is the right methodology for development economics so that future knowledge is on firmer footing? These are important questions and this year’s ABCDE and this introduction is a stocktaking of where we stand on these questions. Development economics has come a long way from Adam Smith’s towering achievement in putting the discipline on a firm theoretical footing to some great strides in empirical methods in recent times. What we need to focus on now is the blending of analytics, statistics and intuition; and of using theory to integrate disparate empirical research.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaushik Basu & Andrew Foster, 2015. "Development Economics and Method: A Quarter Century of ABCDE," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(suppl_1), pages 2-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:29:y:2015:i:suppl_1:p:s2-s8.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill & Bart Minten, 2008. "Quality control in nonstaple food markets: evidence from India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 251-266, May.
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    3. Sudha Narayanan, 2012. "The Heterogeneous welfare impacts of participation in contract farming schemes: Evidence from Southern India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-019, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
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    7. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    8. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bachke, Maren E. & Bellemare, Marc F. & Michelson, Hope C. & Narayanan, Sudha & Walker, Thomas F., 2012. "Smallholder Participation in Contract Farming: Comparative Evidence from Five Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 715-730.
    9. Mala Lalvani, 2008. "Sugar Co-operatives in Maharashtra: A Political Economy Perspective," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(10), pages 1474-1505.
    10. Singh, Sukhpal, 2002. "Contracting Out Solutions: Political Economy of Contract Farming in the Indian Punjab," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1621-1638, September.
    11. Sandhyarani Patlolla & Rachael E. Goodhue & Richard J. Sexton, 2012. "Price floors and technical inefficiency in India's sugar processing industry," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(1), pages 105-114, January.
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