Book Translations as Idea Flows: The Effects of the Collapse of Communism on the Diffusion of Knowledge
AbstractWe use book translations as a new measure of international idea flows and study the effects of Communism’s collapse in Eastern Europe on these flows. Using novel data on 800,000 translations and difference-in-differences approaches, we show that while translations between Communist languages decreased by two thirds with the collapse, Western-to-Communist translations increased by a factor of five and quickly converged to Western levels. Convergence was more complete in more economically-useful fields such as the sciences, and was more complete in Satellite than in Soviet countries. These findings help us understand how institutions shape the international diffusion of knowledge.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 12-05.
Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
idea flows; book translations; institutions; institutional change; Communism's collapse;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N0 - Economic History - - General
- N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
- N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
- F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order; Noneconomic International Organizations;; Economic Integration and Globalization: General
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
- P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General
- P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
- P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
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