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, we show that while translations between Communist languages decreased by two thirds with the collapse, Western-to-Communist translations increased by a factor of seven and reached Western levels. Convergence was full in economically-beneficial fields such as sciences and only partial in culturally-beneficial fields such as history. The effects were larger for more Western-oriented countries. These findings help us understand how institutions shape the international diffusion of knowledge.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 09-032.
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
international flows of ideas; international transfer of knowledge; globalization; book translations; Communism; transition economies;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order; Noneconomic International Organizations;; Economic Integration and Globalization: General
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
- 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-
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- 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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