ABCDE 2016: Call for papers on data and development

The Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), organized by the World Bank Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency, is one of the world’s best known series of conferences for the presentation and discussion of new knowledge on development. The conference aims to promote the exchange of cutting-edge research among researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners. The next conference will take place on June 20-21, 2016 at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The theme of the conference will be “Data and Development.”

The age of data is here to stay. New technologies are digitizing and storing all types of social, economic, political, and environmental activities. At the same time, new methods are being used to better measure economic development, deepen our understanding of development, and trace the consequences of different policies or events. This link between data and solid analysis — which shows what works, what does not, and why — is critical for policymakers as they look for ways to integrate these advances into policy design.

The ABCDE Organizing Committee is issuing a call for papers using novel data and/or empirical methods to address issues relevant to development. The selected papers will be presented as the main sessions of the conference agenda. Possible topics include:

  • Randomized Control Trials
  • Big Data
  • Administrative Data
  • Measurement Issues
  • Research Design
  • Census Data
  • Households, Firms, and other Surveys

Papers that do not fit into these categories, but are related to the main conference theme, are also welcome.

Those interested should submit a draft paper or a two-page proposal by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on February 29, 2016 (email The proposal should include the title of the paper, author(s), affiliation, and contact information, and should address the main question(s) to be examined, relevant literature, unique contribution to the literature, and methodology to be employed. Selected conference papers will be included in a special issue of the World Bank Economic Review.

The Organizing Committee will evaluate all proposals in terms of originality, analytical rigor, and policy relevance. In addition to the papers selected for the main sessions of the conference, some papers may be selected for a poster presentation session. Authors of accepted proposals will be contacted by April 4, 2016.

For authors of selected papers, travel and accommodation expenses for the conference will be covered. Partial financial support will be provided for papers selected for the poster session. Additional information on the overall conference program will be posted on the ABCDE website over the coming months.

Organizing Committee: Kaushik Basu (World Bank, Chair), Asli Demirgüç-Kunt (World Bank), Andrew Foster (Brown University, WBER Editor), Haishan Fu (World Bank), and Adriana Kugler (Georgetown University).