This article charts the rise and fall of the claim that development economics is a separate, independent branch of economics from neoclassical economics, from 1960 to 1980. It also traces the changes in development policy that followed the collapse of that doctrinal claim, while arguing that structural adjustment programs were not the only determinant of policy shifts in developing countries. An epilogue reflects on the influence of behavioral economics and randomized control trials on the future of economic development.

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