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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, David M. & Peart, Sandra J., 2011. "Soviet growth and American textbooks: An endogenous past," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 110-125, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:78:y:2011:i:1-2:p:110-125
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Quotation of the Day…
      by Don Boudreaux in Cafe Hayek on 2012-09-20 16:38:08
    2. Paul Samuelson, the Gullible and Unrepentant Socialist
      by Pedro H. Albuquerque in Incentives Matter on 2012-09-20 17:02:00

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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • P17 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects

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