Social Consequences of Business Cycles

By Maurice Beck Hexter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
CYCLICAL CORRELATIONS

WE have thus far succeeded in demonstrating that series of demographic data can be broken up into simpler series. We have shown that crude series reflecting the condition of humankind -- such as the birth-rate, death-rate, marriage, and divorce -- are the result of four distinct forces which it is possible to isolate. It is clear that it is possible to break up these large mysteries into smaller ones; and that it is possible to explain these simpler mysteries more clearly than is possible for the larger ones.1 In order to understand the relationship between these phenomena happening to men, we must remove certain influences before comparisons can be made. If we compare, for example, the fluctuations of the birth-rate with the fluc

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1
The following is quoted from the inspiring introduction to Mind and Heredity, by Vernon Kellogg ( Princeton, 1923), pp. i-iii: "We have a convenient single word to express our confession of ignorance when faced with things we do not understand. We apply this word to the unexplained things of our own body, to things in the world about us, to things of the apparently infinite universe. We call such things mysteries, and to many of us, especially the more tender-minded among us, the labeling of a thing as mystery ends discussion of it. To others, tougher-minded, it is the very incitement to discussion, and, to some, the activating stimulus to prolonged and feverish study. It is, of course, chiefly, if not entirely, by such study that we ever can and do get anywhere in the fascinating game of solving mystery.

"The methods of such study are familiar; they are primarily descriptive and analytic. We call them scientific. They break up the big mystery into little ones; they sometimes succeed in reaching an immediate -- although never an ultimate -- rather satisfying explanation of some of these little parts of the big whole. By these methods we re-describe, which is a form of approximate explanation, these parts of the mystery and sometimes the whole mystery. If it is a mystery of life and so-called vital forces -- and no kind of mystery is more fascinating to us nor more feverishly discussed and studied than this kind -- we re-describe it, or bits of it, in terms of non-life, and of forces of physics and chemistry."

-125-

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Social Consequences of Business Cycles
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Author's Preface xiii
  • Contents xv
  • List of Charts xvii
  • List of Tables xxi
  • Part One 1
  • Chapter I - Introductory 3
  • Chapter II - The Birth-Rate 9
  • Chapter III - The Stillbirth-Rate 38
  • Chapter IV - The Death-Rate 48
  • Chapter V - The Number of Marriages 65
  • Chapter VI - The Number of Divorce Libels 86
  • Chapter VII - Summary of Part One 105
  • Part Two 123
  • Chapter VIII - Cyclical Correlations 125
  • Chapter IX - Social Aspects of the Origin Of Business Cycles 167
  • Appendix 177
  • Index 199
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