Easterly on the civil war in development economics

Michael Giberson

William Easterly writes, “Few people outside academia realize how badly Randomized Evaluation has polarized academic development economists for and against.”

That claim seems reasonable enough. I’d bet few people outside academia know what randomized evaluation is. Frankly, I’d bet you could survey economists on the floor of the upcoming American Economic Association meetings in Atlanta and, for non-development specialist, find that fewer than 50 percent “realize how badly Randomized Evaluation has polarized academic development economists.”

Easterly raises the point as a way to introduce a conference and now edited book volume — he helped organize the conference and edit the book — which brought together the fors and againsts for dialog.