Kondratiev wave From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In heterodox economics, Kondratiev waves — also called Supercycles, surges, long waves or K-waves — are described as regular, sinusoidal cycles in the modern (capitalist) world economy. Averaging fifty and ranging from approximately forty to sixty years in length, the cycles consist of alternating periods between high sectoral growth and periods of slower growth. Most academic economists do not posit the existence of these waves.
The Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev was the first to bring these observations international attention in his book The Major Economic Cycles (1925) alongside other works written in the same decade. Two Dutch economists, Jacob van Gelderen and Samuel de Wolff, previously argued for the existence of 50- to 60-year cycles in 1913. However, only recently has the work of de Wolff and van Gelderen been translated from Dutch to reach a wider audience...
Finally, the "Winter" stage, that of severe depression, includes the integration of previous social shifts and changes into the social fabric of society, supported by the shifts in innovation and technology. It is tempting to expand the theory to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Some economists, such as Schumpeterians, have proposed that the third cycle peaked with World War I and ended with World War II after a turning point in 1929. A fourth cycle may have roughly coincided with the Cold War: beginning in 1949, turning with the economic peak of the mid-1960s and the Vietnam War escalation, hitting a trough in 1982 amidst growing predictions in the United States of worldwide Soviet domination and ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
The current cycle most likely peaked in 1999 with a possible winter phase beginning in late 2008. The Austrian-school economists point out that extreme price inflation in the absence of economic growth is a form of capital destruction, allowing either stagflation (as in the 1970s and much of the 2000s during the gold and oil price run-ups) or deflation (as in the 1930s and possibly following the crash in commodity prices beginning in 2008) to represent a recession or depression phase of the Kondratieff theory.