G. Warren Nutter’s “Traveler’s tale of the Soviet economy”: A witness to the actual world

G. Warren Nutter’s “Traveler’s tale of the Soviet economy”: A witness to the actual world The text of G. Warren Nutter’s 1956 “Traveler’s tale of the Soviet economy” challenges the belief that only credentialed experts offer useful economic analysis. Nutter’s introduction is a remarkable statement of an approach in which an expert attempts to see the world through eyes unfiltered by theoretical propositions. His distrust of theory is such that his “Tale” was hurriedly written so that these presuppositions did not creep in to “correct” the naïve impressions of a tourist. Two decades after Nutter’s trip, Alain Besançon (Survey: A Journal of East and West Studies 25(4): 143–159, 1980) pointed out the inconsistency between the Soviet world described by witnesses and that described by orthodox Western economic models. More recently an inconsistency in the sequences of models in American economic textbooks—faster Soviet growth without catching up to American levels—has been detailed (Levy and Peart Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 78: 110–125, 2011). A difference between the witnessed world and the modeled world in the sequence of textbooks is that the modeled world was not possible. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

G. Warren Nutter’s “Traveler’s tale of the Soviet economy”: A witness to the actual world

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Public Finance & Economics; Political Science; Methodology/History of Economic Thought
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-014-0297-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The text of G. Warren Nutter’s 1956 “Traveler’s tale of the Soviet economy” challenges the belief that only credentialed experts offer useful economic analysis. Nutter’s introduction is a remarkable statement of an approach in which an expert attempts to see the world through eyes unfiltered by theoretical propositions. His distrust of theory is such that his “Tale” was hurriedly written so that these presuppositions did not creep in to “correct” the naïve impressions of a tourist. Two decades after Nutter’s trip, Alain Besançon (Survey: A Journal of East and West Studies 25(4): 143–159, 1980) pointed out the inconsistency between the Soviet world described by witnesses and that described by orthodox Western economic models. More recently an inconsistency in the sequences of models in American economic textbooks—faster Soviet growth without catching up to American levels—has been detailed (Levy and Peart Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 78: 110–125, 2011). A difference between the witnessed world and the modeled world in the sequence of textbooks is that the modeled world was not possible.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 27, 2014

References

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