Skip to content

“What works in development?” Apparently not markets for books on “What works in development”

A previous blog highlighted the book Jessica Cohen and I edited “What works in development” (self-promotion disclaimer: I was just an organizer; the attractions were stellar academics heatedly debating the pros and cons of Randomized Experiments in development).

We got a nice response from readers (the blog post was the 2nd most popular on Aid Watch since we launched the new site October 14th), and many seemed to want the book. However, for markets to work, we need not only demanders but also rational suppliers. Here something has gone wrong, not quite sure what. After the book jumped up the ranks at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it sold out at both sites and is indefinitely out of stock.

As for the enigmatic publisher, Brookings Institution Press, finding the book on its web site is a bit of a challenge. It is not in the “New Releases” section, which has 6 books published in 2008. It is not in the section on “Poverty and Development. ” You would have more luck looking at the Brookings Global Economy and Development Program website, which features the book, but that requires a bit of inside knowledge.

To save you endless searching, I spent half the day tracking it down for you. The Brookings link is here. Maybe this will help Amazon find the book from Brookings as well.

Sorry for whining, but when you have worked hard at facilitating something that the customers seem to want, it’s a bit frustrating to having recalcitrant suppliers get in the way.

After all this, you can actually order the book online from the Brookings Institution Press, allowing for 1 to 2 weeks delivery.  Otherwise, you could get Sarah Palin’s insights on What Works from Amazon, delivered tomorrow.

This entry was posted in Books and book reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Any possibility of a Kindle edition?

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  2. William Easterly wrote:

    I believe Brookings is still using the Gutenberg press, so they may have a ways to go to the Kindle age.

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  3. Patrick Kelso wrote:

    Forget Kindle, how about an internationally accessible ebook. Mobipocket, ePub or similar. It’s not nice paying $20 more for a book than I’d pay if I buy it in the states. $52 for the book from Brooking’s Australian distributor.

    Then again it’s also not nice paying the same price for an ebook as for a hardcover or trade paperback.

    Ok I’m done complaining now :)

    I look forward to reading this when I find it in the Library at uni.

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  4. GabbyD wrote:

    what happened to the tiger woods blog post?

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink
  5. Ted H wrote:

    You can actually find the Brookings link in 2 seconds using google …

    just saying.

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  6. E Aboyeji wrote:

    Apparently, what works in development is interest.

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  7. OutofStock wrote:

    Out of Stock on Amazon? P’shaw! And, whatever you do, DON’T hawk the site by sitting there hitting refresh or even signing up for an email notification once stock is made available. Simply go to a little GIZMO I recently found and enter the ASIN for what you want. Let it run in the background and as soon as stock is available, you WILL know. This thing is FAST, and completely FREE.

    P.S. Beware of the loud alarm you will get!

    Posted December 13, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink
  8. teekay wrote:

    As Patrick Kelso points out, how can I get the book outside the U.S., e.g. in this small place called Europe (at a reasonable price)? Is this a conspiracy to prevent this critical debate from emerging ;)?!

    Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:53 am | Permalink
  9. William Easterly wrote:

    From Twitter by @auerswald: “What works in development” draft conference papers available at Brookings site:

    You miss the revisions, the comments, and the scintillating opening chapter by the editors, but the above is a good start.

    Posted December 14, 2009 at 7:01 am | Permalink
  10. David Zetland wrote:

    It’s not like Brookings has an incentive to sell more books (as opposed to host dinners with power brokers) — donations, not sales, drive those guys. :)

    Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  11. Wayan wrote:

    Next time, publish it as an eBook under Creative Commons. Then you could sell or give away w/o bitching on the lack of tree cutting on your behalf.

    Posted December 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Permalink
  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

    "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken

  • Archives