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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), pages 110-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:78:y:2011:i:1:p:110-125 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2010.12.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Arye L. Hillman & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2016. "Academic exclusion: some experiences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 1-20, April.
    2. Anthony J. Evans & Vlad Tarko, 2014. "Contemporary Work in Austrian Economics," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 29(Fall 2014), pages 135-157.
    3. David Levy & Sandra Peart, 2015. "G. Warren Nutter’s “Traveler’s tale of the Soviet economy”: A witness to the actual world," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 397-404, December.
    4. David M. Levy & Sandra J. Peart, 2015. "Learning from Failure: A Review of Peter Schuck's Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 667-674, September.
    5. Petrik Runst, 2016. "Giacomo Corneo, Bessere Welt. Berlin, Germany: Goldegg Verlag, 2014. 368 Pages. 24,90 € (hardcover)," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 99-102, March.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Petrik Runst & Steven Horwitz, 2015. "Alienation and rationality—The retreat of postwar socialism," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 123-137, June.

    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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