“What works in development?” Apparently not markets for books on “What works in development”

A previous blog highlighted the book Jessica Cohen and I edited "What works in development" (self-promotion disclaimer: I was just an organizer; the attractions were stellar academics heatedly debating the pros and cons of Randomized Experiments in development). We got a nice response from readers (the blog post was the 2nd most popular on Aid Watch since we launched the new site October 14th), and many seemed to want the book. However, for markets to work, we need not only demanders but also rational suppliers. Here something has gone wrong, not quite sure what. After the book jumped up the ranks at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it sold out at both sites and is indefinitely out of stock.

As for the enigmatic publisher, Brookings Institution Press, finding the book on its web site is a bit of a challenge. It is not in the “New Releases” section, which has 6 books published in 2008. It is not in the section on “Poverty and Development. ” You would have more luck looking at the Brookings Global Economy and Development Program website, which features the book, but that requires a bit of inside knowledge.

To save you endless searching, I spent half the day tracking it down for you. The Brookings link is here. Maybe this will help Amazon find the book from Brookings as well.

Sorry for whining, but when you have worked hard at facilitating something that the customers seem to want, it’s a bit frustrating to having recalcitrant suppliers get in the way.

After all this, you can actually order the book online from the Brookings Institution Press, allowing for 1 to 2 weeks delivery.  Otherwise, you could get Sarah Palin’s insights on What Works from Amazon, delivered tomorrow.