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Development Blocks, Faulty Investment and Structural Tensions – The Åkerman- Dahmén Theory of the Business Cycle

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Abstract

Johan Åkerman and Erik Dahmén’s structural theory of economic fluctuations is a constructive alternative to traditional macroeconomic approaches and also to modern business-cycle models based on micro economic concepts. There are similarities between Åkerman and Dahmén’s theory and Schumpeter’s theory in Business Cycles. Both theories underline the importance of progressive industries for the recovery or prosperity phase. However, by the notions of faulty investment, structural tensions and development blocks, Åkerman and Dahmén provided an original explanation of the turning points in the business cycle. An empirical study of the severely overheated Swedish economy in the 1980s and the following depression did not confirm the Åkerman-Dahmén theory. One weakness of the theory is that it downplays the independent role of financial-market conditions. Åkerman and Dahmén’s theory is more valid for innovation-driven cycles such as the ICT boom in the late 1990s and the subsequent crisis.

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  • Erixon, Lennart, 2009. "Development Blocks, Faulty Investment and Structural Tensions – The Åkerman- Dahmén Theory of the Business Cycle," Research Papers in Economics 2009:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2009_0009
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    File URL: http://www2.ne.su.se/paper/wp09_09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lennart Erixon, 2007. "Even the bad times are good: a behavioural theory of transformation pressure," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 327-348, May.
    2. Malley, Jim & Muscatelli, V. Anton, 1999. "Business cycles and productivity growth: Are temporary downturns productive or wasteful?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 337-364, December.
    3. Lennart Erixon, 2005. "Combining Keynes and Schumpeter. Ingvar Svennilson’s contribution to the Swedish growth school and modern economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 187-210, January.
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    Keywords

    Development Blocks; Faulty Investment; Structural Change; Juglar Cycles; Progressive Industries;

    JEL classification:

    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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