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Soviet growth and American textbooks: An endogenous past

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  • Levy, David M.
  • Peart, Sandra J.

Abstract

Between 1960 and 1980 American economics textbooks overestimated Soviet growth. They held that the Soviet economy was growing faster than the US economy and yet they kept the ratio of Soviet–US output constant over two decades. The textbooks downplayed any uncertainty associated with such growth estimates. We offer evidence that the optimistic portrait of the Soviet economy in the textbooks was in part driven by an assumption of efficiency and abstraction from institutional concerns.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 78 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 110-125

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:78:y:2011:i:1:p:110-125

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Soviet growth; Textbooks; Samuelson; Tarshis; Nutter; PPF; Ideology; Second-best;

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References

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  1. Paul A. Samuelson, 1997. "Credo of a Lucky Textbook Author," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 153-160, Spring.
  2. G. Warren Nutter & Israel Borenstein & Adam Kaufman, 1962. "Introduction to "Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union"," NBER Chapters, in: Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. G. Warren Nutter, 1957. "Some Observations on Soviet Industrial Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number nutt57-1, May.
  4. Mark Skousen, 1997. "The Perseverance of Paul Samuelson's Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 137-152, Spring.
  5. G. Warren Nutter & Israel Borenstein & Adam Kaufman, 1962. "Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number nutt62-1, May.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Quotation of the Day…
    by Don Boudreaux in Cafe Hayek on 2012-09-20 11:38:08
  2. Paul Samuelson, the Gullible and Unrepentant Socialist
    by Pedro H. Albuquerque in Incentives Matter on 2012-09-20 12:02:00
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Cited by:
  1. David Levy & Sandra Peart, 2012. "Tullock on motivated inquiry: expert-induced uncertainty disguised as risk," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 163-180, July.
  2. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.

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