Advances in Input-Output Analysis: Technology, Planning, and Development

By William Peterson | Go to book overview

9
Input-Output, Technical
Change, and Long Waves
E. FONTELA and A. PULIDO
ON CYCLES AND LONG WAVES
During the 1950s and 1960s research on long-term fluctuations of economic activity was given very low priority. If cycles and long waves had ever existed, they were pre- Keynesian; they could be avoided by appropriate use of macroeconomic management tools.But the 1970s and early 1980s showed that this policy concept has serious limitations. Many advanced industrialized countries with excellent economic advisors and powerful resources were unable to adjust to major changes in the environment (flexible exchange rates and oil price shocks) and accepted stagnation and painful levels of unemployment, sometimes even conceding that these unsatisfactory situations were part of a necessary adjustment mechanism.In these circumstances there has been a revival of research on cycles and long waves. Van Duijn ( 1983) listed the following cycles from the most frequent analysis of the subject:
1. The Kitchin, or inventory, cycle (3-5 years)
2. The Juglar, or investment, cycle (7-11 years)
3. The Kuznets, or building, cycle (15-25 years)
4. The Kondratieff, or long wave (45-60 years)

Van Ewijk ( 1982), using spectral analysis, has shown convincingly that "the long wave is not a general characteristic of real economic growth in industrialized countries," although there may be some supporting statistical evidence for the Kuznets cycle, particularly in the United States.

Adelman in the 1960s ( 1954, 1965) had already reached a rather similar conclusion, but also demonstrated that "in a simulation of the ordinary business cycles of the U.S. economy by a randomly shocked Klein-Goldberger model, long swings were generated which corresponded in all important respects to the extended waves observed in the U.S. economy."

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