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Bulgarian Economic Thought since 1989: - page 3 / 22

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Alexander Tsankov (18791959), Georgi Svrakov (19011985), and Ivan Stephanov (18991980). Especially noteworthy was the statistical school in Bulgaria, which was established by Oskar Anderson (see Radilov, 2002). Among the immigrants from Russia, Simeon Demostenov, Naum Dolinski, Ivan Kinkel, and Oskar Anderson stand out as perhaps the most erudite economists of the period8).

II

Transmission Mechanisms of Economic Theory in Bulgaria

How do Bulgarian economists select their research topics and corresponding research methods, and on what basis are their achievements measured? How can we group the channels of influence to Bulgarian economic thought? In other words, on one hand this study determines the factors underlying the preferences of Bulgarian economists, and on the other hand it determines the factors defining the limits in terms of selecting topics, methodology, etc.?

According to me, it is rational to distinguish between the following two basic, figuratively speaking, inward information channels: The first one could be termed the channel of the socio-economic reality and problems, which is external to scientific thought. The second could be termed a cognitive channel, which relates to the evolution and transmission of economic thought itself. In the first case, economic theory either pre-empts or responds to the requirements of a historical period, economic problems, or tasks. In the latter case, economic theory is a self-regulating system with its own internal diffusion and evolutionary mechanisms, or is related to the formation and dissemination of knowledge9). Using the cognitive channel, we can differentiate between the following two sub-channels that shape the Bulgarian economic thought; first is the information obtained from the past, i.e., from the inertia of economic knowledge and theories of the past (the socialist period), and the second is the information obtained from external sources, i.e., from the existing theories and models of economic thought in the West (neo-classical, Keynesian, monetarist, Austrian, etc.).

Figure 1 The information channels that constitute Bulgarian economic thought.

The abovementioned differentiation bears similarities with the methodological interpretation of Riccardo Faucci’s History of Economic Thought; he distinguished between the external (exogenous) interpretation, i.e., economic thought from the perspective of environment, and internal (endogenous) history, i.e., economic thought from the perspective of theory itself. Both these perspectives on economic thought possess a few weaknesses. With the first perspective, one could fall into relativism and chronology of authors and topics, while with

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