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Fluctuations in the momentum of growth within the capitalist epoch


  • Angus Maddison

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Groningen, 9700 AH Groningen, The Netherlands)


This paper reviews the history of cyclical and long wave analysis and examines the evidence on changes in the momentum of economic growth in 16 advanced capitalist countries from 1820 to 2001. It assesses the work of the main Business Cycle Research Institutes in Western Europe the USA and Russia, as well as that of Kondratieff, Kuznets, Schumpeter, Abramovitz and the long-wave revivalists-Rostow, Mandel and Mensch. It concludes that the existence of regular long-term rhythms in capitalist development is not proven, but distinguishes major changes in the momentum of growth due to disturbances of an ad hoc character. The role of system shocks and historical accidents is important but the role of policy error and success is also emphasised. It identifies five major phases of capitalist development since 1820.

Suggested Citation

  • Angus Maddison, 2007. "Fluctuations in the momentum of growth within the capitalist epoch," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 1(2), pages 145-175, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:145-175

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    Cited by:

    1. Catalin Angelo Ioan & Gina Ioan, 2011. "In this article, we will carry out an analysis on the regularity of the Gross Domestic Product of a country, in our case the United States. The method of analysis is based on the consideration of the ," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 4(4), pages 142-157, August.
    2. Arthur Mustafin, 2018. "Kondratiev Long Cycles: New Information About Discussions In The Ussr In The 1920s," HSE Working papers WP BRP 168/HUM/2018, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. José Luis Cendejas & Félix-Fernando Muñoz & Nadia Fernández-de-Pinedo, 2017. "A contribution to the analysis of historical economic fluctuations (1870–2010): filtering, spurious cycles, and unobserved component modeling," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(1), pages 93-125, January.
    4. Sandrine Michel & Delphine Vallade, 2010. "Financement des dépenses sociales : les apports d'une approche de long terme," Post-Print hal-01671551, HAL.
    5. Francesco Lamperti & Clara Elisabetta Mattei, 2016. "Going Up and Down: Rethinking the Empirics of Growth in the Developing and Newly Industrialized World," LEM Papers Series 2016/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Marco Gallegati, 2019. "A system for dating long wave phases in economic development," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 803-822, July.
    7. Francesco Lamperti & Clara Elisabetta Mattei, 2018. "Going up and down: rethinking the empirics of growth in the developing and newly industrialized world," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 749-784, September.
    8. Jean Luc De Meulemeester & Claude Diebolt, 2007. "Education et croissance: quel lien pour quelle politique?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13544, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. A. Bergeaud & G. Cette & R. Lecat, 2016. "The role of production factor quality and technology diffusion in 20th century productivity growth," Working papers 588, Banque de France.
    10. Antonelli, Cristiano & Fassio, Claudio, 2014. "The economics of the light economy," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 89-107.

    More about this item


    Business cycles; Long waves; Economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative


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