Bread and Bullet

31 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016

See all articles by Dennis J. Snower

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)

George A. Akerlof

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

Date Written: February 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: attention, identity, motivation, Narrative, prediction, social assignment

JEL Classification: A12, A13, A14, D03, D04, D20, D23, D30, D62, D71,

Suggested Citation

Snower, Dennis J. and Akerlof, George A., Bread and Bullet (February 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11132, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2766423

Dennis J. Snower

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)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

George A. Akerlof (Contact Author)

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

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