Frequently Asked Questions Page
When I talk to people, I often get the same responses. Some confusing points are that the decade of the 1970s was a Kondratiev winter, the causes of the difference in timings between depressions, and that there are two different kinds of depressions.
Length of the Long Wave
In the early 1900s, Kondratiev thought that the cycle was 50 years or so. This was because that was the average timing up till then. But in the 20th century, it became 40 years: 1890 to 1929 to 1973 to 2008.
The underlying cause of the productivity growth cycle is the 80 year change of physics paradigms. But how quickly industry develops has a lot to do with how quickly a physics paradigm becomes popular. In Franklin’s case, his paradigm became popular very quickly. In Faraday’s case, his paradigm was basically unknown outside of Britain until 1860 through Maxwell’s publications. In Britain, it was also little understood for a long time.
So that caused the longer productivity growth trend (100 years instead of 80) in the 19th century.
Industrial revolutions follow about 60 years after a scientific revolution. This is why industrial revolutions and scientific revolutions seem to happen about the same time. Schumpeter was right about this, but it doesn’t explain the middle depression periods when productivity growth is jumping up to a peak.
During the 1830s and 1930s, there was no major industrial revolution. Basically everything that was being made was already invented before. Planes became better in the 1930s, and trains started to be widely built in the 1840s or so, but these inventions were made before.
The 1970s and Early 1980s Kondratieff Slump
The thing that probably most people would not believe is that the decade of the 1970s was a Kondratieff Winter.
The Paradigm Development Process and Two Types of Economic Depressions
So a cycle goes like this: scientific revolution, 60 years later an industrial revolution begins, and then a depression happens about 70 years after the scientific revolution.
1st depression is a Kondratief winter.
2nd depression begins about 30 years after the 1st depression ends.
This is a second and very different kind of depression than the first (what happens industrially and financially is very different)
Then about 40 years later, the 1st kind of depression begins again.
So each productivity growth cycle has two Kondratieff Winters. Or another way to say this is each industrial revolution produces two Kondratieff Winters. The two winters are both deep recessions or depressions, but they are very different kinds of depressions.