Bread and Bullets

30 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2016  

George A. Akerlof

University of California, Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dennis J. Snower

University of Kiel - Institute for World Economics (IfW); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 11, 2016

Abstract

Standard economics omits the role of narratives (the stories that people tell themselves and others) when they make all kinds of decisions. Narratives play a role in understanding the environment; focusing attention; predicting events; motivating action; assigning social roles and identities; defining power relations; and establishing and conveying social norms. This paper describes the role narratives play in decision making, as it also juxtaposes this description against the backdrop of the Bolshevik-spawned narrative that played a critical role in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union in the 20th Century.

Keywords: narrative, motivation, attention, prediction, identity, social assignment

JEL Classification: A120, A130, A140, D030, D040, D200, D230, D300, D620, D710, D720, D740, E020, E030

Suggested Citation

Akerlof, George A. and Snower, Dennis J., Bread and Bullets (February 11, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5747. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2745814

George A. Akerlof

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

Department of Economics 549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-0822 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Dennis J. Snower (Contact Author)

University of Kiel - Institute for World Economics (IfW) ( email )

Duesternbrooker Weg 120
D-24118 Kiel
Germany
+49+431-8814-235 (Phone)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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