Phases of Economic Growth, 1850–1973: Kondratieff Waves and Kuznets Swings

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9780521334570: Phases of Economic Growth, 1850–1973: Kondratieff Waves and Kuznets Swings
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Solomos Solomou presents a clear and systematic examination of the evidence for long-term patterns of economic growth. Using data on Britain, France, Germany, the USA and the world economy between 1850 and 1973 he refutes the existence of long (Kondratieff) waves in the course of economic development. Instead he presents persuasive evidence for a growth pattern characterised by shock-induced, long-term variations in growth at the level of the world economy. The findings show that national patterns of growth did not necessarily coincide with those of the world economy, but followed episodic long swing fluctuations of twenty to thirty years before the Second World War and trend-accelerated growth in the post-war period. The author provides new historical perspectives on the pre-1913 era, the inter-war years and the post-war boom.

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Review:

'This book is of great importance. For the whole of the period for which adequate statistics are available, it confronts the main theories of fluctuations in economic growth with the evidence. The result is fascinating, and at times devastating. Solomou's achievement in this terse and clear book of 170-odd pages is remarkable. His handling of the main statistical series on growth is masterly; as to the multitude of possible explanatory factors his knowledge of the secondary sources is clearly encyclopaedic, and he gives their gist in a richly informative way without losing sight of his general argument. Anyone interested in the recent economic history of the major Western economies, or the world economy, should read and re-read Solomou; so should economists interested in growth.' The Economic Journal

'Overall, Solomou's arguments are plausible and his reasoning cogent. He has amassed a great amount of information to support his conclusions. His prose style is clear and crisp.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'The author has written an important book, one in which various theories of fluctuations in economic growth are challenged with the evidence and are submitted to searching analytical and statistical scrutiny of a higher order ... The arguments and findings of this stimulating book are important both for economists and economic historians, and should lead to much fruitful and detailed research. The author is to be congratulated.' The Economic History Review

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9780521389044: Phases of Economic Growth 1850-1973: Kondratieff Waves and Kuznets Swings

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ISBN 10:  0521389046 ISBN 13:  9780521389044
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2008
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