ABCDE 2014 is intended to be a stock-taking of the foundations and methods of development economics. Over the last two decades, development economics has risen dramatically into prominence. The emergence of several developing economies as major global players, their integration in global decision-making arena—for instance, the G-20—and the evolving methods of empirical development economics research, which has generated new knowledge but also contributed to controversy, makes this a good moment to take stock of where we stand. How well can we bring together economic theory and the new empirical development economics? Are there synergies in this that can give development economics and development policymaking a boost?
With these questions in the background, the plan is to make this ABCDE conference, which will delve into the full sweep of development economics, from theory to controlled experiments, but with an eye on methodology, to egg on the profession one way or another and not shying away from commenting where we need to go. To celebrate this, it has been decided to create a special, Papers and Proceedings issue of the World Bank Economic Review based on this conference.