The Global Development And Environment Institute



Search GDAE

Subscribe for
E-mail Updates

Leontief Prize

Recent Publications

Media Room

Upcoming Events

Publicaciones en Español

Publications en Francais

Publications in Chinese

Jobs and Resources


Microeconomics in Context

Russian Edition

The MIC project began in 1989 when Nobel economist Wassily Leontief received a request from the Soviet Academy of Sciences for a recommendation as to which U.S. introductory economics textbook should be translated for Russian students. He passed the request on to Neva Goodwin, just before she came to Tufts University. A review of existing books persuaded Leontief and Goodwin that the best approach would be to develop a new text based on an existing one that presented much of the necessary core of neoclassical theory within an exceptional awareness of the social and physical environments. We were fortunate in finding such a starting point in a textbook by the noted economist, Kelvin Lancaster, who gave his consent for this use.

However, the Soviet Academy of Sciences soon ceased to exist – along with the Soviet Union – and the project languished until 1993, when Goodwin had the opportunity, while on a World Bank mission in Moscow, to talk with Russian economists about the continuing, urgent need for teaching materials that would address the Russian economic reality. (By then a number of standard U.S. economics textbooks had been translated, but Russian teachers and students were finding them largely irrelevant to the Russian reality.) The next year a conference at Moscow State University ("The Present and the Future of Economics Education in Russia") brought together many of the Russians and Americans who would subsequently work on the new book. Goodwin attended the MSU conference with Thomas Weisskopf, a distinguished economist from University of Michigan who had previously taught economics in Russia.
Directly after the MSU conference, Goodwin and Weisskopf convened ten Russian economists and other social scientists at a day-long meeting hosted by International University in Moscow. The project team that emerged from that occasion next met for a week in June 1994 at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Pocantico conference site in New York, to analyze and reorganize the outline for the microeconomics half of Lancaster's textbook.

In order to supplement the experience and insights of the Moscow-based teachers and researchers who were involved with this project, GDAE hired a consultant who had taught economics for a number of years in both Russia and Kazakhstan. In late 1996 Dr. Lan Wu undertook a month-long research tour, interviewing a diverse range of faculty and students in four Russian cities and more than a dozen educational institutions of differing types. His report deepened our understanding of the needs of students and teachers outside of the major urban centers.

The English language version of text was completed in the spring of 2000. It was then translated into Russian, edited, and published in October 2002. An extensive Instructor's Resource Manual with associated web site was also created. Publication and distribution in Russia has been taken on by the Russian State University for the Humanities. This university had been created as the first independent liberal arts institution in post-Soviet Russia, offering courses in philosophy, economics, history, sociology and psychology, as well as economics. Rector Afanasyev is personally committed to and involved in the project.

From the start, agreements among all authors and contributors to the textbook have stipulated that salaries paid for work on the text will be their only financial compensation. The agreement further stipulates that royalties shall be directed to a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of economic thinking for the sustainable welfare of humanity. Accordingly an Institute for Contextual Economics is being established at the Russian State University for the Humanities. It will use royalties from the Russian edition of Microeconomics in Context to maintain and update the web site associated with the book, and to support researchers who will work closely with the team at GDAE, drawing on our development of the U.S. edition for the second Russian edition.

To purchase this book:

Mikroekonomika v kontekste can be purchased at RGGU (Russian State University for the Humanities) in Moscow, main building (entrance on Miusskaya Sq), rm. 21. The marketing department telephone number is (7 095) 973-4200 and they are open Monday-Friday, 11-4. The book costs 165 rubles.

Economics in Context: The Need for a New Textbook” (.pdf file) by Neva R. Goodwin, Oleg I. Ananyin, Frank Ackerman and Thomas E. Weisskopf, February 1997.

On June 24-25, 2005, GDAE Co-Director Neva Goodwin attended the conference of the Russian Society for Ecological Economics in St. Petersburg, where Dr. Goodwin gave a talk called “What Economics Courses Don’t Teach – But Should,” summarizing some topics that are dealt with in the Russian edition of Microeconomics in Context that are not adequately covered in standard texts. To read Dr. Goodwin's presentation in English or Russian, click here.

The authors and principal contributors to the Russian edition of Microeconomics in Context.

Top of Page

Tufts University Logo

Global Development And Environment Institute
Tufts University
44 Teele Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144 USA
Tel: 617-627-3530 | Email:

Copyright © 2002 – Tufts University