The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control

By Willford I. King | Go to book overview

essence, nothing but irregular oscillations resulting wholly from non-recurrent accidental forces. These economists may be correct in their point of view, but the graphs presented in Charts 28 to 38 seem to indicate that those who believe in the existence of true cycles in business at present have the better of the argument.

Periodicity and Forecasting. -- The question of whether business cycles really exist is of great practical importance, for, if the oscillations in business are dominated by forces following some mathematical formula, whether that formula be one representing a composite of sine curves or otherwise, the pattern of business must to a considerable extent be repetitive in nature and hence predictable; for any curve, or combination of curves, represented by mathematical formulae can be reproduced indefinitely into the future. Were it not for the interference of erratic and unpredictable forces such as earthquakes, floods, fires, legislative action, and wars, the dominance of business movements by cyclical forces would make it possible to forecast rather accurately the future ups and downs of business. However, even though business cycles actually exist, their courses are not yet well enough understood, and the influences of extraneous forces are too great to make it possible at present to foretell, with any high degree of accuracy, what may be the situation during the next decade or even during the next year. Therefore, business forecasting still remains one of the most difficult of arts.


REFERENCES

The following books describe light and sound waves and show methods of analyzing them:

Kimball Arthur L. A College Text-book of Physics. Third edition, revised, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1924, pp. 180-187, 576-579.

Sheldon H. Horton, and others. Physics for Colleges. D. Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1926, pp. 423-431, 503-522.

Descriptions of cyclical fluctuations as found in many different fields appear in:

Reports of the Conferences on Cycles. Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1929.

-244-

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The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Charts xiii
  • Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION 3
  • References 18
  • Chapter 2 - CHARACTERISTICS OF BUSINESS DEPRESSIONS 20
  • References 47
  • Chapter 3 - RECORD OF BUSINESS DEPRESSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES 49
  • References 72
  • Chapter 4 - MISLEADING EXPLANATIONS OF THE ORIGINS OF DEPRESSIONS 74
  • References 107
  • Chapter 5 - INADEQUATE EXPLANATIONS OF THE ORIGINS OF DEPRESSIONS 109
  • References 124
  • Chapter 6 - THE DEPRESSION CULTURE-MEDIUM 125
  • REFFRENCES 134
  • Chapter 7 - THE DEPRESSION'S ORIGIN 138
  • References 168
  • Chapter 8 - FORCES TENDING TO ACCENTUATE AND PROLONG DEPRESSIONSS 169
  • References 194
  • Chapter 9 - INEFFECTIVE WAYS OF COMBATING DEPRESSION 196
  • References 207
  • Chapter 10 - FORCES COMMONLY TENDING TO END DEPRESSION 209
  • References 222
  • Chapter 11 - CYCLES 223
  • References 244
  • Chapter 12 - THE POSSIBILITY OF FORECASTING BUSINESS FLUCTUATIONS 247
  • References 263
  • Chapter 13 - SOCIAL COST OF UNSTABLE PRODUCTION 266
  • References 279
  • Chapter 14 - WAYS TO MINIMIZE DEPRESSION 282
  • References 311
  • Chapter 15 - WAYS TO MINIMIZE DEPRESSION (CONTINUED) 313
  • References 337
  • Index 339
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