Soviet growth and American textbooks: An endogenous past
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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