NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development

Angus S. Deaton

NBER Working Paper No. 14690
Issued in January 2009

---- Acknowledgements -----

The Keynes Lecture, British Academy, October 9th, 2008. I am grateful to Abhijit Banerjee, Tim Besley, Anne Case, Hank Farber, Bill Easterly, Bo Honoré, Michael Kremer, David Lee, Chris Paxson, Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, Burt Singer, Jesse Rothstein, and John Worrall for helpful discussions in the preparation of this paper. For comments on a draft, I would like to thank Tim Besley, Richard Blundell, David Card, Winston Lin, John List, Costas Meghir, David McKenzie, Burt Singer, Alessandro Tarozzi, Gerard van den Berg, Eric Verhoogen and especially Esther Duflo. I also like to acknowledge a particular intellectual debt to Nancy Cartwright, who has discussed these issues patiently with me for several years, whose own work on causality has greatly influenced me, and who pointed me towards other important work; to Jim Heckman, who has long thought deeply about the issues in this lecture, and many of whose views are recounted here; and to David Freedman, whose recent death has deprived the world of one of its greatest statisticians, and who consistently and effectively fought against the (mis)use of technique as a substitute for substance and thought. None of which removes the need for the usual disclaimer, that the views expressed here are entirely my own. I acknowledge financial support from NIA through grant P01 AG05842-14 to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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