By looking at the life, travels, and work of Wolf Ladejinsky, one of the leading American experts and advisers on agrarian reforms in Asia during the postwar era, this article sheds light on the practices of development experts. Ladejinsky's work shows how the postwar period saw the emergence of a new kind of traveling economist whose task was to engineer and assess the implementation of modernization programs. In particular, the article analyzes the role of field trips in the career of Ladejinsky across Asia. The task of traveling experts was complicated. Ladejinsky's agenda was clear and his goals predetermined but they had to be adapted to different national and international frameworks. Adaptation had two sides: on the one hand, it meant fixing certain elements of the land reform plan, such as the maximum size of landowners' estates, according to local agricultural conditions; on the other, adaptation consisted of a form of institutional engineering, to harness political will, popular support, and bureaucratic structures for land reform. He developed, therefore, an array of methodological suggestions to collect relevant information during short visits.

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