Evaluating development recipes

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When I present my own theoretical models [on growth and institutions] to audiences, I am almost invariably asked to interpret the results for their policy implications. The listeners usually find my responses meager and unsatisfactory, and I am compelled to agree. Today I want to take this opportunity to apply the same, admittedly very stringent, test of policy relevance to all academic research in this area. I will interpret all findings of this body of work as if they were prescriptions for policy or institutional reform, and question the validity and practicality of these interpretations.

I am deliberately going to be provocative and critical, but will try to be evenhandedly so. I hope that my remarks will give everyone some incentive to think further and harder.

Should be fun. That is Princeton’s Avinash Dixit kicking-off his latest paper: Evaluating Recipes for Development Success.

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