Tim Besley has reviewed in Foreign Affairs three of my favourite books about economic development, Portfolios of the Poor, Poor Economics and More Than Good Intentions. His article is terrific, and Tim is too modest to plug his own recent book with Torsten Persson Pillars of Prosperity.
Development economics is in good shape. The availability of new data sets, the use of randomized control trials and the bringing of empirical life to endogenous growth models where knowledge spillovers are vital have all contributed to its health. The growth outlook has become crucial for the developed economies, in order to escape from the present debt traps and longer term demographic constraints. We would do well to ditch conventional macroeconomics, which has failed, and look instead to applying the tools of modern development economics in our own back yards.