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Economics
through the decades
A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report

Development

Shahid Yusuf
with Angus Deaton, Kemal Derviş, William Easterly, Takatoshi Ito, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

“The 30th anniversary of the World Development Report is an auspicious event for the World Bank. The report has served as one of the principal and most widely read vehicles forencapsulating the Bank’s knowledge of and policy recommendations on key development trends.” —Justin Lin, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, The World Bank

Since 1978, the World Bank’s annual World Development Report (WDR) has provided in-depth analysis and policy recommendations on a specific and important aspect of international development from agriculture, the role of the state, economicgrowth, and labor to infrastructure, health, the environment, and poverty. In the process, it has become a highly influential publication that is consulted by international organizations, national governments, scholars, and civil society networks to inform their decision-making processes. In this essay, Shahid Yusuf examines the past 30 years of development economics, viewed through the WDRs. Theessay begins with a brief background on the circumstances of newly independent developing countries and summarizes some of the main strands of the emerging field of development economics. It then provides a sweeping examination of the coverage of the WDRs, reflecting on the key development themes synthesized by these reports and assessing how the research they present has contributed to policymaking and development thought. The book then looks ahead and points to some of the big challenges that the World Bank may explore through future WDRs. The essay is followed by five commentaries, each written by a distinguished economist or development practitioner,
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which further explore this terrain from different perspectives. Together, the contents ofthis volume provide an extraordinary and remarkably compact tour of development economics through, around, and beyond the WDR. It will be invaluable to anyone interested in the evolution of development economics over the past three decades as well as to students, scholars, and policy makers in the field of development.

Shahid Yusuf is Economic Adviser in the Development Economics Research Groupat the World Bank and was the Director of the World Development Report 1999/2000, Entering the 21st Century. Prior to that, he was Economic Adviser to the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist (1997–98), Lead Economist for the East Africa Department (1995–97) and Lead Economist for the China and Mongolia Department (1989–1993). Yusuf has written extensively on development issues, with aspecial focus on East Asia. He has also served the World Bank in several other capacities since he first joined the Young Professionals Program in 1974. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics from Cambridge University. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the World Development Report, this book is being simultaneously published with The Complete World DevelopmentReport, 1978–2009. This DVD is a fully searchable digital archive containing the complete collection of WDRs in HTML and PDF formats. For more information about the DVD or the World Development Report, visit www.worldbank.org/wdr.

Development

Economics
through the decades

Development

Economics
through the decades
A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report ShahidYusuf
with Angus Deaton, Kemal Dervi¸ , s William Easterly, Takatoshi Ito, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

© 2009 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank 1818 H Street NW Washington DC 20433 Telephone: 202-473-1000 Internet: www.worldbank.org E-mail: feedback@worldbank.org All rights reserved 1 2 3 4 11 10 09 08 This volume is a product of the staff of the...
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