Talk:Business cycle

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Many of the interwiki links go to the word "conjuncture" in other languages, whereas Conjuncture only links to the corresponding words in Hungarian and Russian. Is there a reason for that? Are conjuncture and business cycle synonymous? Are there semantic differences between the word "conjuncture" in different languages?-- (talk) 14:08, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about Hungarian and Russian, but German and Dutch use Konjunktur / Conjunctuur to mean "business cycle". Conjuncture isn't normally used for this in English. Rd232 talk 11:15, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree. "Coyuntura" is a standard term in Spanish for what English-language economists call the business cycle, as is "Conjoncture" in French. The English Wikipedia page on Conjuncture should be eliminated, or merged into 'Business cycle'. Rinconsoleao (talk) 16:46, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Propose segregation of non-mainstream explanations[edit]

Right now we have the following organization:

  • 3.1 Exogenous vs. endogenous
  • 3.2 Keynesian
  • 3.3 Credit/debt cycle
  • 3.4 Real business cycle theory
  • 3.5 Politically-based business cycle
  • 3.6 Marxist economics
  • 3.7 Austrian school
  • 3.8 Henry George

This organization implies some kind of rough equality between the subject headings, but that is clearly not accurate. "Keynsian" explanations, in the broadest sense, are the mainstream view. Minskyite post-Keynsianism, and freshwater RBC, are both significant minority viewpoints, and taken seriously even by those who disagree with them. But the other four are pretty darned fringe. (I don't even know what George is doing in there, and the claim that he was "never refuted" sounds preposterous on its face.) I propose:

  • 3.1 Exogenous vs. endogenous
  • 3.2 Keynesian
  • 3.3 Credit/debt cycle
  • 3.4 Real business cycle theory
  • 3.5 Alternative theories
    • 3.5.1 Politically-based business cycle
    • 3.5.2 Marxist economics
    • 3.5.3 Austrian school
    • 3.5.4 Henry George

Thoughts? EvanHarper (talk) 19:03, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I have implemented this change but an IP editor has reverted it. The explanation, "mainstream economics is a loose term" I do not find to be credible; it smacks of the continuum fallacy.
As a factual matter, does anybody dispute that the Keynesian, Fisher-Minsky, and freshwater macro explanations are far more respected, even by those who disagree with them? Does anybody expect that a database search for papers on these subjects would show drastically more papers examining the first three accounts, rather than the last four?
If this is not factually disputed, than is not WP:UNDUE clearly applicable? "Wikipedia should not present a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserved as much attention overall as the majority view." Seems pretty cut-and-dry to me. EvanHarper (talk) 01:33, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I concur with your analysis. I'm reverting back to your version. LK (talk) 04:46, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Completely agree with EvanHarper. Rinconsoleao (talk) 21:44, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
The fact that the Marxian school was upheld as the 'mainstream' theory by the whole communist bloc as well as various socialist third-world countries for most of the last century (which constituted around half of the worlds population), and was and is still discussed by various scholars makes it ludicrous to dismiss it as 'fringe'. It has been the principal acknowledged theory critical of mainstream economists since Böhm-Bawerk. It's pretty preposterous to segregate Marxist analysis of business cycles from the 'respectable' accounts when Marxist theory took business cycles seriously around 70 years before the Keynesians (not to even mention that most of Keynesianism was inspired by Marx's M-C-M' cycle, as admitted in his 1934 first draft). Even Keynes himself admitted who his greatest opponent was: "The purpose of the book as a whole may be described as the establishment of an anti-Marxian socialism, a reaction against laissez-faire built on theoretical foundations totally unlike those of Marx in being based on a repudiation instead of on an acceptance of the classical hypotheses, and on an unfettering of competition instead of its abolition." (General Theory, ch. XXIII, section VI) Thus I disagree with both the implied link between a theory being mainstream and being 'credible', and the lumping of Marxist economic theory together with an obscure Henry George, whose section is in fact bigger than that concerning Marxist theory. Either all other explanations except the dominant Keynesian one should be classified in a different section, or the sentence "The remaining explanations given here are generally not considered credible by mainstream economists." should be changed to something more in the direction of "The remaining explanations given here are generally not supported by mainstream economists." to bring it in line with POV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Henry George is of historical interest and his point of land tax is still worth considering, especially following the housing bubble. If you look at the Univ. of WI School of Business web site you will find a table showing the distortions in land values around the U.S. Also, the adoption of property taxes in many parts of the world was partly the result of George’s influential work, which was a best seller ‘’Progress and Poverty’’ (but necessarily not a good read.
Agreed that Marxist explanations are far from "fringe", but "alternative" is not a synonym for fringe. (See WP:FRINGE). I agree that the theories of Henry George get undue weight in this article (see my comment below), but not that he's "obscure". Compared to Marx, yes. But almost anybody is obscure compared to Marx. Yakushima (talk) 07:11, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Along with the argument is an "alternative" vs. mainstream theory is putting the Austrian school as an alternative theory. Hayek won a Nobel prize for his work on Austrian school theory in relation to the business cycle. Former Fed. Chairman Alan Greenspan spoke of the importance of the Austrian school in modern day economic policies. Look at the debate over interest rate levels at the Fed. Half of the United States populace believes in Austrian school policies to an extent an thus it deserves mainstream recognition.

The problem with giving Austrian school mainstream recognition is they got everything they wanted from 1920-1932 and the US economy grew by less than 10% total in a period of 12 years. Then they got *nothing* they wanted from 1933-1945 and the economy grew by 190% over 12 years. "Unbiased" should also be fact-based. (talk) 17:03, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Those are very weak arguments. It doesn't matter what half of the population think but what scientists in the field who publish papers think. It's encyclopedia after all (see NPOV, we need reliable sources, not urban wisdom or opinions of American politicians). Austrians and Marxists aren't mainstream economists these days and from reading this article and few others one can form the impression that economists world is divided 50:50 among "mainstream" and "Austrian". I have an impression influence of Austrian school is very strong on wikipedia and it's purposeful actions to distort NPOV.

Georgist section overlong?[edit]

Although I believe Henry George seldom gets his due, giving his business-cycle theories undue weight in this article is not an appropriate way to rectify the injustice. Transcluding a section from some main article might be better than reiterating his entire viewpoint here. Yakushima (talk) 07:11, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

While the section devoted to Goergism is long, the reason is that we have just gone through a land speculation boom, and in some locations and countries, a bust of historic proportions. Beyond that, Goergism does not fit as well into business cycles because George was mainly concerned with the disproportionate rise in land values that eventually leads to impoverishment of the citizenry, such as we now have in some places, like California and certain European and Asian cities. Phmoreno (talk) 02:47, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Spectral Analysis[edit]

"Recent research employing spectral analysis has confirmed the presence of Kondratiev waves in the world GDP dynamics at an acceptable level of statistical significance..." Sorry, but spectral analysis, based on Fourier methods or similar techniques, cannot handle non-stationary signals like GDP - which is not like energy waves, but alters in many ways over time. If the attributed research used some form of Discrete Fast Fourier transform, they needed a window function to detect results. But for such a classically dynamic signal, any window will predispose conclusions. It's not impossible to detect macroeconomic cycles mathematically, but introducing spectral analysis is a red herring. BrianMC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:05, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

I can see that Fourier transforms can be difficult to use for this kind of work. I'd have to check the research, but it should be possible to use filter theory to establish whether cycles do exist within a given range of frequencies.GliderMaven (talk) 02:10, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Trade Cycle[edit]

When I studied economics about 45 years ago, this was referred to as the trade cycle. Trade cycle still gives a large number of hits in Google. Although I agree that business cycle is now more current, should there not be a reference to this term? Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 00:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)


"Land speculation slows the economy in two ways. It increases production costs by making land in general more expensive (shifting the Aggregate supply (AS) curve upward) "

I think the author meant "Aggregate demand" instead of "Aggregate Supply". Otherwise the proposition seems meaningless.

-- (talk) 12:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)Michele77.238.18.5 (talk) 12:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Illustration of the business cycle[edit]

I have removed the illustration of a business cycle, because its labels are seriously misleading. Not every business cycle has a boom at its peak level of growth, and not every cycle has a depression at its trough. The graph failed to label either of its coordinates, making it at best ambiguous and at worst incomprehensible to beginners. — Aetheling (talk) 21:31, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Yield curve section[edit]

Recently a section was added to this article, right after the introduction. The new section presented the "yield curve" explanation for the cause of business expansions and contractions, with data provided in a table to back up the claims. Since this entire section is just one of many possible explanations of the business cycle, I moved it into the section on Explanations. I took the opportunity to fix a spelling error and to break up a couple of run-on sentences. There are still two external links that still need to be converted to footnotes. — Aetheling (talk) 21:31, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Kitchin inventory cycle - and Infobox[edit]

"Kitchin inventory cycle of 3 to 5 years". The source given says 40 months but can vary. I'm not saying the range is wrong but it's not in the source (that I could see). It mentions 40 months however for the minor cycles and the major could be double or even triple making the (major) cycle 10 years (or more?). Should the major cycles be mentioned? And/or the cycle clarified to be the major one (not including major one).

It seems to me that the cycle could be getting shorter, it I understand what it is about correctly, for say electronics and JIT-intentory. Saying so would be WP:OR however. Anyone know? Could it be in some cases two or one year?

In the box it says "period" not "period in years". Implied maybe, and I'm ok with that - I just first got to the page about the cycle and it only mentioned months and 40 (and no range - while it fits in it after convertion..). comp.arch (talk) 19:56, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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