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ABCDE 2014 "The Role of Theory in Development Economics": Call for Papers

The Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), organized by the World Bank Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency, is one of the world’s best known series of conferences for the presentation and discussion of new knowledge on development. The conference aims to promote the exchange of cutting-edge research among researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners. The next conference will take place on June 2-3, 2014, at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The theme of the conference will be “The Role of Theory in Development Economics”.

The ABCDE Organizing Committee is issuing a call for papers on innovative ways that analytical and deductive methods, as well as issues of methodology such as the use of randomizations, can be used in development. The selected papers will be presented as the main sessions of the conference agenda. Possible topics include:

  • Poverty and Social Protection
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Human Development
  • Role of Social Norms
  • Environment
  • Macroeconomics
  • Trade
  • Finance

Papers that do not fit into these categories, but are related to the main conference theme, are also welcome.

Those interested should submit a draft paper or a two-page proposal by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on February 28, 2014 (email The proposal should include the title of the paper, author(s), affiliation, and contact information, and should address the main question(s) to be examined, relevant literature, unique contribution to the literature, and methodology to be employed. Selected conference papers will be included in a special issue of the World Bank Economic Review along the lines of the AER Papers and Proceedings.

The Organizing Committee will evaluate all proposals in terms of originality, analytical rigor, and policy relevance. In addition to the papers selected for the main sessions of the conference, some papers will be selected for a poster presentation session. Authors of accepted proposals will be contacted by March 21, 2014.

For authors of selected papers, travel and accommodation expenses for the conference will be covered. Partial financial support will be provided for papers selected for the poster session. Additional information on the overall conference program will be posted on the ABCDE website over the coming months. 

Organizing Committee:  Kaushik Basu (World Bank, Chair), Asli Demirgüç-Kunt (World Bank), Andrew Foster (Brown University), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University), Indermit Gill (World Bank), and  Yaw Nyarko (New York University).

Conference Coordinator: Leita Jones (

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