The Long Waves in Economic Life (1920s) by Nikolai D. Kondratieff


This is one of the most important articles ever written on long cycles.

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The Long Waves in Economic Life (1920s) by Nikolai D. Kondratieff

Alanpuri Trading, 2014, Softcover, Reprint of articles originally written in 1926 by Kondratieff (Kondratiev) in Russian. This is an English translation of that article published in the 1930s. ENGLISH VERSION.

Contents:  I. Foreword, II. Introduction, II.-III. Method, The Wholesale Price Level, V. The Rate of Interest, VI-VII. Wages and Foreign Trade, VIII. The Production and Consumption of Coal and Pig Iron and the Production of Lead, IX. Other Series, X. Statistical Findings, XI. Empirical Characteristics, XII. The Nature of Long Waves, XIII. Conclusions — end. 23 pp. (plus Wesley C. Mitchell’s 3 pp. article)

Summary: This is one of the most important articles ever written on long cycles.

About the Author: Nikolai Dimitrievich Kondratiev was born on 4 March 1892 in the province of Kostroma, north of Moscow, into a peasant family. He was tutored at the University of St. Petersburg before the 1917 Russian Revolution by Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky. A member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, his initial professional work was in the area of agricultural economics and statistics and the problem of food supplies. On 5 October 1917, at the age of 25, he was appointed Minister of Supply of the last Alexander Kerensky government, which lasted for only a few days. After the revolution, he dedicated his attention to academic research. In 1919, he was appointed to a teaching post at the Agricultural Academy of Peter the Great, and in October 1920 he founded the Institute of Conjuncture, in Moscow. As its first director, he developed the institute, from just a couple of scientists, into a large and respected institution with 51 researchers by 1923. In 1923, Kondratiev intervened in the debate about the “Scissors Crisis”, following the general opinion of his colleagues. In 1923-5, he worked on a five-year plan for the development of Soviet agriculture. In 1924, after publishing his first book, presenting the first tentative version of his theory of major cycles, Kondratiev travelled to England, Germany, Canada and the United States, and visited several universities before returning to Russia. A proponent of the Soviet New Economic Policy (NEP), Kondratiev favored the strategic option for the primacy of agriculture and the industrial production of consumer goods, over the development of heavy industry. Kondratiev’s influence on economic policy lasted until 1925, declined in 1926 and ended by 1927. Around this time, the NEP was dissolved by a political shift in the leadership of the Communist Party. Kondratiev was removed from the directorship of the Institute of Conjuncture in 1928 and arrested in July 1930, accused of being a member of a “Peasants Labour Party” (allegedly a non-existent party invented by the NKVD). Convicted as a “kulak-professor” and sentenced to 8 years in prison, Kondratiev served his sentence, from February 1932 onwards, at Suzdal, near Moscow. Although his health deteriorated under poor conditions, Kondratiev continued his research and decided to prepare five new books, as he mentioned in a letter to his wife. Some of these texts were indeed completed and were published. His last letter was sent to his daughter, Elena Kondratieva, on 31 August 1938. Shortly afterwards, on 17 September during the Great Purge, he was subjected to a second trial, condemned to ten years without the right to correspond with the outside world. However, Kondratiev was executed by firing squad on the same day the sentence was issued. Kondratiev was 46 at the time of his execution. He was rehabilitated almost fifty years later, on 16 July 1987. His collected works were first translated into English by Stephen S. Wilson in 1998. – Recommended Reading. (Note: this is NOT the same as “The Long Wave Cycle” that was co-written by Kondratiev and D.I. Oparin with an Introduction by Julian M. Synder.) 23 pp.

The Long Waves in Economic Life by Nikolai D. Kondratieff