Cold War Calculations

  • Share
  • Read Later


Fascinating study out from the folks up at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass. George J. Borjas (of Harvard’s Kennedy School) and Kirk B. Doran (of Notre Dame) studied U.S. mathematicians to see what impact the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago had on their work.

They were interested in exploring just what happened once the work of Soviet math whizzes could flow freely around the world – rare during the communist era – and more than 1,000 of them (nearly 10% of the USSR’s mathematical wizards) fled the country, including 300 to the U.S.

Their conclusion:

Kind of makes you wonder what would happen if NBER conducted a similar study of U.S. and Soviet/Russian military officers…