business cycles

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

business cycles

business cycles, fluctuations in economic activity characterized by periods of rising and falling fiscal health. During a business cycle, an economy grows, reaches a peak, and then begins a downturn followed by a period of negative growth (a recession), that ends in a trough before the next upturn. The theory of business cycles is generally attributed to French physician Clement Juglar, who proposed in 1862 that such fluctuations were to be expected in any economic system. Other later theorists developed Juglar's theory, arriving at business cycles of anywhere from 10 years to the half-century cycle suggested by Russian economist Nikolai Kondratieff. Many attempts have been made to equalize business cycles through monetary and fiscal policy decisions. During the 1970s and 80s, for instance, U.S. fiscal policy deliberately created a recession to combat inflation. Theories on the causes of business cycles consider various possible factors; however, none has conclusively delineated the underlying causes for fluctuations. Such 20th-century theorists as John Maurice Clark and Joseph Schumpeter have attempted to find cures for economic instability, rather than describing it as simply a natural phenomenon in the manner of many 19th-century theorists. The "underconsumption" theory, for instance, claims that an inordinate amount of income goes to the wealthy rather than to investment, thus producing instability.

See R. J. Gordon, ed., The American Business Cycle (1986) and W. C. Mitchell, Business Cycles and Their Causes (1989); A. W. Mullineux, Business Cycles and Financial Crises (1990).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

business cycles
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.