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Business Cycles Creation: Some Historical And Theoretical Perspectives


  • Stanley C. W. Salvary

    (Canisius College)


Historically, generalization about economic fluctuations in an economic system over extended periods of time has proved to be difficult. Yet, it has been even more difficult to generalize across economic systems. In a historical setting, there are many theories offered to explain the creation of business cycles. In this study it is argued that the business cycle is not caused by a single factor but by a multiplicity of factors, therefore, such competing theories constitute special cases of the business cycle. This study maintains that there are families of business cycles, with each family representing a related set of economic systems. Given a family approach to economic systems, then it is conceivable that a general theory can be developed for each family of economic systems by grouping factors identifiable with particular sets of economic systems. Data from the United Nations for 137 countries were used to establish a classification scheme for families of economic systems. US time series data were examined to assess the plausibility of the general theory for one family of economic systems as advanced in this study.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanley C. W. Salvary, 2004. "Business Cycles Creation: Some Historical And Theoretical Perspectives," Macroeconomics 0412002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0412002
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Recent Work on Business Cycles in Historical Perspective: A Review of Theories and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 523-580, June.
    2. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1, June.
    3. Victor Zarnowitz, 1984. "Recent Work on Business Cycles in Historical Perspective: Review of Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. You, Jong Keun, 1979. "Capital Utilization, Productivity, and Output Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 91-100, February.
    5. Victor Zarnowitz & Geoffrey H. Moore, 1986. "Major Changes in Cyclical Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 519-582 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    cycle creation theories; families of cycles; money shocks; investment cycle; credit cycle; monetary dislocation; systems philosophies.;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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