Analytical Development Economics

Analytical Development Economics

The Less Developed Economy Revisited

By Kaushik Basu





Virtually all industrialized nations have annual per capita incomes greater than $15,000; meanwhile, over three billion people, more than half the worlds population, live in countries with per capita incomes of less than $700. Development economics studies the economies of such countries and the problems they face, including poverty, chronic underemployment, low wages, rampant inflation, and oppressive international debt. In the past two decades, the international debt crisis, the rise of endogenous growth theory, and the tremendous success of some Asian economies have generated renewed interest in development economics, and the field has grown and changed dramatically.

Although Analytical Development Economics deals with theoretical development economics, it is closely grounded in reality. The author draws on a wide range of evidence, including some gathered by himself in the village of Nawadih in the state of Bihar, India, where—in huts and fields, and in front of the village tea stall—he talked with landlords, tenants, moneylenders, and landless laborers. The author presents theoretical results in such a way that those doing empirical work can go out and test the theories.

The book is a revision of Basu's The Less Developed Economy: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (Blackwell, 1984). The new edition, which has several new chapters and sections, incorporates recent theoretical advances in its comprehensive, up-to-date treatment of the subject. It is intended primarily as a textbook for a one-semester graduate course, but will also be of interest to researchers in economic development and to policymakers.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262024235 388 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 41 illus.


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262523448 388 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 41 illus.

Not for sale on the Indian subcontinent.


  • Professor Basu's 1984 Less Developed Economy has been a teaching classic to show students the power of rigorous economic modeling in explaining the fundamental issues of the development problem and exploring alternative policy options. This new edition extends this approach to a number of the issues and debates that are currently dominating the field. While its primary contribution is in offering a way of thinking, it also provides an encyclopedic survey of the field and importantly rests on Professor Basu's own research contributions. It will again be one of the best texts in development economics for years to come.

    Alain de Janvry

    Professor, University of California

  • The book bears the marks of Basu's customary lucidity of exposition and sharpness of analysis. The earlier version was widely used as a development text; this revised and enhanced version will be even more useful for students and teachers.

    Pranab Bardhan

    Professor of Economics, University of California

  • Analytical Development Economics stands in a category of its own. Giving one's personal view on eseentially all of development economic theory is quite a challenge. What makes the book valuable and interesting are Basu's perceptiveness and breadth of knowledge. In a nutshell, the book is a monster of scholarship that manages to be fresh and stimulating. Through Basu's style, we perceive a searching mind, an individual searching mind, and that's what makes the book very human. This is a book that many development economists, seasoned ones as well as apprentices, will continue to peruse in search of stimulation and advice.

    Marcel Fafchamps

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Stanford Unviersity

  • DEvelopment economics was born in the forties and fifties, then languished for the next two decades and has been radically transformed in the course of the last two. Basu's book is the most kind and thorough exposition of the evolution of the subject over this span of time that is currently available.

    Ronald Findlay

    Ragnar Nurkse Professor of Economics, Columbia University

  • Kaushik Basu's immense talent for concise and elegant treatments of important problems is fully displayed in this book. Also in evidence are his constant concern about connecting analytical issues with real life situations and his balanced appraisal of both the strengths and limitations of economic theory in development matters.

    Jean-Philippe Platteau

    Namur University

  • The first edition of this book provided the best single treatise on theoretical aspects of economic development. With the recent additions, Basu takes readers to the frontier of recent research on economic institutions, growth, and inequality. In describing new academic work, Basu displays a rare capacity for elegant and reasoned exposition. The result is not just intellectually exciting—- the book suggests new ways of thinking about alleviating poverty and fostering economic progress in the world's poorest countries.

    Jonathan Morduch

    Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University

  • Kaushik Basu is one of the leading development economists of his generation. His book is an ideal text for a graduate course and would be of value to all those who wish to understand what vigorous applied theory can do in this area.

    Nicholas H. Stern

    Chief Economist, European Bank; Sir John Hicks Professor of Economics, London School of Economics

  • An admirable combination of introductory helpfulness and state-of-the-art coverage. And fun to read!

    Amartya Sen

    Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University

  • The appearance of a revised version of Basu's splendid book is greatly to be welcomed, particularly by those who believe that the economics of underdevelopment should not imply the underdevelopment of economics. This volume provides excellent material for a theoretically oriented course in development economics at an advanced undergraduate or graduate level.

    Christopher Scott

    London School of Economics and Political Science