Quite a while ago I wrote an essay for college on the causes of the First Cold War (Seeing as in some schools of thought, the Cold War can be split into 2 distinct "conflicts" or stages) looking primarily at it from an economic standpoint.
In the end I summarised that the cold war was caused by a mixture of factors that included the relative delay in the western allies fighting on mainland Europe (Stalin push for D-Day to happen much earlier than it did), the massive difference in casualties (at it's worst it could have been as much as 15 Soviet deaths to every allied death), the fact that Europe's and Russia's economies were decimated by WW2 where as the US doubled it's GDP and profited off of the Lend Lease Programme, Stalins/Russia's Xenophobia and ideological differences.
So, my question to you is: To what extent was the Cold War caused by economic differences? or was the Cold War caused more by the the political strain between the US/UK and Russia over the events of WW2, particularly the rush for Berlin etc? or could it have been the US fear of Communism/Soviet fear of Capitalism?
As a side note, much of my research came from two books - "Inside the Kremlins Cold War" - Zubok and Pleshakov and "Russia, America and the Cold War" - McCauley.