IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Long waves of economic development and the diffusion of general-purpose technologies: The case of railway networks

Listed author(s):
  • Kriedel, Norbert
Registered author(s):

    The possible existence of long waves in economic time series has long been an important subject of debate for economists, statisticians and historians. Recent empirical evidence for these long-term fluctuations is found in the literature of structural time series models. One empirical method for detecting long waves which seems to be particularly compatible with their theoretical explanation is the band pass filter. Applying the band pass filter to data from six European countries demonstrates the presence of wave-like fluctuations with a length of between 30 and 50 years. Their turning points show quite strong similarities across the six countries examined. Moreover, there is evidence for a stable lead-lag structure for two countries. The dominant theoretical explanation for long waves stresses the diffusion of general-purpose technologies. The diffusion of the railway system as one example of a general-purpose technology was analysed by means of logistic regression. The results are quite striking, as there seems to be evidence for a temporal sequence, implying that the turning points of railway diffusion occurred before the turning points of long waves.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) in its series HWWI Research Papers with number 1-1.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2006
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:1-1
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Heimhuder Str. 71, D-20148 Hamburg

    Phone: +49 (0)40 34 05 76 - 0
    Fax: +49 (0)40 34 05 76 - 776
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Li, Chol-Won, 2001. "Science, Diminishing Returns and Long Waves," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(5), pages 553-573, Special I.
    2. Birgitte Andersen, 1999. "The hunt for S-shaped growth paths in technological innovation: a patent study," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 487-526.
    3. Crafts, Nicholas, 2002. "The Solow Productivity Paradox in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3142, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Jonathan P. Goldstein, 1999. "The Existence, Endogeneity, and Synchronization of Long Waves: Structural Time Series Model Estimates," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 61-101, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:1-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.