The Strange Attraction of Tides and Waves

Chris Freeman and Francisco Louçã

in As Time Goes By

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251056
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596278 | DOI:
 The Strange Attraction of Tides and Waves

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A number of recent authors challenged Kondratiev's tentative conclusions, using modern statistical and econometric techniques, or indicating alternative processes of causation—the case of W. Rostow, arguing for the long‐term evolution of relative prices, being one of the best known.

In an overview of the field, this chapter considers the available statistical and econometric techniques for the analysis of fluctuations, their theoretical underpinnings and the implicit structure they postulate: trend deviation techniques and other smoothing procedures, spectral analysis and other theory‐free devices, and simulation models are considered and criticized.

The chapter concludes that the apparent lack of statistical evidence for these long periods of characteristic change is frequently imposed by the very methods used to demonstrate their non‐existence, rather than by sensitive historical analysis of firms, markets, social institutions and their evolution.

Other authors who concentrated on the schedule of the rate of profit and discussed the social environment and processes of change that influence the lasting effects of clusters of radical innovations and the creation of new industries are reviewed.

Ernest Mandel, the forerunner of the revival of the Kondratiev hypothesis in the sixties, argued for a comprehensive approach to the phenomenon based on the dynamics of economic change and social conflict.

Keywords: causation; fluctuation; innovation; Nikolai Kondratiev; Long Wave; rate of profit; smoothing; statistical techniques; trends

Chapter.  14558 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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