Date of this Version
In June 1992, we taught a three-week seminar at Moscow State University that coincided with the beginning of a historic curriculum reform in Russia. The reform had two parts: (I) the replacement of the Marxist-Leninist three-year sequence of courses in political economy with a sequence on market economics and (2) substantial revision of other course requirements for the economics degree. br>
The occasion of our Russian visit was an invitation from Moscow State University to present a seminar on the principles of market economics. The seminar demonstrated the typical content and teaching techniques used in the American micro-macro principles course. Our efforts were greatly facilitated by simultaneous translation of our lectures and discussions, although problems with Russian equivalents for precise economic terminology in English occasionally presented difficulties. About 70 professors from throughout the former Soviet Union attended the seminar; most of these professors are now teaching principles of market economics in Russia.
The seminar was held in conjunction with the publication of the Russian language edition of a standard American principles of economics textbook (McConnell and Brue 1990), which was the main resource for the professors taking the course. Eight Russian economists spent two years translating the McConnell and Brue textbook, working under the direction of Anatoly Porokhovsky, professor of economics at Moscow State University (MSU) and deputy director of the Institute of United States and Canada in the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1992, Politizdat Press (now Respublika), formerly the main publishing house of the Communist Party, published 500,000 copies of this book in micro and macro volumes. Beginning with the 1992-1993 academic year, these volumes became the central textbooks for introductory economics courses at institutes and universities throughout Russia.