Discussion paper

DP11132 Bread and Bullet

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.


Akerlof, G and D Snower (2016), ‘DP11132 Bread and Bullet‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11132. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp11132