William Easterly is professor of economics at New York University and co-director of NYU’s Development Research Institute. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a non-resident fellow of the Brookings Institution and the Center for Global Development. After sixteen years as a World Bank economist, in 2001 Easterly wrote The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics in which he offers a devastating critique of international efforts to spur third world development. Easterly elaborates on that theme in The White Man’s Burden arguing that “searchers,” who look for bottom-up solutions to specific problems, can accomplish more than “planners,” who believe in imposing grand, top-down plans on poor countries.
The Hayek Prize is a new Manhattan Institute award that honors the book published within the past two years that best reflects Hayek’s vision of economic and individual liberty. The purpose of the award is to recognize the long running influence of The Road to Serfdom and to encourage other scholars to follow Hayek’s example. The winner of the Hayek Prize is chosen by a selection committee of distinguished economists and journalists and asked to deliver our annual Hayek Lecture. The Hayek Prize and Lecture are underwritten by a grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.