Development Economics, to my knowledge, has become a mostly empirical field, with RCTs and other quasi-experimental techniques yielding a huge body of empirical knowledge about specific policies and the circumstances under which they do or do not work.

Given most of these empirical studies are focused on specific issues, I wonder if there has been work on stepping back and taking a look at the bigger picture: how these pieces of the puzzle fit together.

I know there is a big body of theoretical work in development economics that was developed prior to or independent of the RCT and quasi-experimental movement. What I want to know is, is there such a body of theoretical work done after that movement or during that movement, that explicitly incorporates findings from the experiments/ quasi-experiments and knits them together into a coherent picture.

Of course I do not expect there to be one grand theory of development economics at this point (I would be pleasantly surprised if there is), but at least a set of theories/ models that can together explain a sizeable chunk of the empirical body of knowledge?

Any resources (papers, books, lectures etc.) to know more about this? Any courses that cover the to-and-fro between the empirics and theory?



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