Kondratiev, Long Cycles and Economic Conjuncture

  • Vincent Barnett
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History and Society book series (SREEHS)


Kondratiev first mentioned the idea of long cycles in print in the mono-graph The World Economy and its Conjuncture During and After the War (Mirovoe khozyaistvo i ego kon”yunktury vo vremya i posle voiny) published in 1922, and an account of this pioneering presentation is given below. Kondratiev’s first paper devoted specifically to long cycles was published in Questions of Conjuncture (Voprosy kon”yunktury) in 1925, and a version of this paper was translated and published in The Review of Economic Statistics in 1935. On 6 February 1926 Kondratiev read an expanded and revised version of his account of long cycles in the Institute of Economics in Moscow. This was a grand affair as the paper was discussed and criticised by many eminent economists such as V.A. Bazarov, S.A. Pervushin and M.V. Ignatiev, and the meeting was chaired by S.A. Fal’kner. On 13 February 1926 D.I. Oparin presented his very detailed critique of Kondratiev’s analysis of long cycles, the most rigorous critique produced during NEP, and this encounter was the high-point of the debate on long cycles which occurred in the USSR in the 1920s.1 An account of this meeting was published in book form in 1928, and Kondratiev and Oparin also published some aspects of their critical exchange in Planned Economy (Planovoe khozyaistva) in 1926. Many other theorists entered the fray against Kondratiev in this period, for example Trotsky attacked Kondratiev for arguing that the long cycle was strictly periodic in nature.2 Finally in 1928 Kondratiev published a detailed application of long cycle analysis to the interrelation of international agricultural and industrial prices, which was in many ways the pièce de résistance of his output on long cycles, and this paper was the last which he wrote on long cycles. Thus the key years for Kondratiev long cycle publications were 1922, 1925, 1926 and 1928.


Interest Rate Business Cycle Price Level World Economy Industrial Good 
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Copyright information

© Vincent Barnett 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Barnett
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Russian and East European StudiesUniversity of BirminghamUK

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