Researching the politics of development



"This will change the way you see economic growth" – Deals and Development book is available for open access!

9 November 2017
We’re thrilled to announce that Deals and Development, the book resulting from ESID research on the politics of growth is now available to order here  and to download on open access here.
This path breaking book is edited by three globally renowned ESID experts on the politics of economic development, Lant Pritchett, Kunal Sen and Eric Werker. The book advances a new conceptual framework for understanding how economic growth is ignited and maintained in a range of developing countries. It investigates how relationships – “deals” – between political and economic actors explain why it is rare to see growth episodes being sustained in the developing world, and why developing countries have seen such differential success, both in igniting economic growth and in transforming growth accelerations into growth sustenance.
Eleven chapters by ESID experts feature specific country examples across a wide spectrum of institutional and political contexts in Africa and Asia. Country cases range from Bangladesh to Cambodia, Malawi to India. The book is brilliantly useful in providing actionable levers to create reform and improve countries’ chances of bringing about transformative and sustainable economic growth.
Here’s what celebrated economists say:

“Pritchett, Sen, and Werker show intellectual courage in taking on one of the most inconvenient facts about economic growth and development – that most countries have unstable growth rates, shifting from boom to bust and back again. They challenge the prevailing institutionalist consensus, which they convincingly argue is unhelpful for confronting that instability of growth. Instead, they lay out a world of ‘deals’ among political and economic actors which can support a transition from bust to book, but can also unravel so that the boom is not sustained. These intrepid authors will change the way you see economic growth.

Professor William Easterly, Professor of Economics, New York University; Co-Director, NYU Development Research Institute

“The Holy Grail of development is a flexible framework for understanding when the political circumstances are consistent with the economic activities we all know lead to growth. Explaining this flexible framework in detail, Deals and Development advances a powerful set of new concepts.”

James A. Robinson, University Professor, University of Chicago

“This book is built around two facts that are widely known but poorly appreciated: developing countries grow much faster than rich countries, but unfortunately developing countries also shrink much faster, and they shrink much more often. Slow growth is not the result of slow growing, but of more frequent and rapid shrinking. Pritchett, Sen and Werker tackle the source of this pattern with an intriguing conceptual framework and a series of detailed case studies. This is an important book, both for contributions and for identifying a weakness in how we think about economic development.”

John Wallis, Department of Economics, University of Maryland