“Is the business cycle obsolete”? This often cited title of a book edited by Bronfenbrenner with the implicit affirmation of the question reflected the attitude of mainstream macroeconomics in the Sixties regarding the empirical relevance of cyclic motions of an economy. The successful income policies, theoretically grounded in Keynesian macroeconomics, seemed to have eased or even abolished the fluctuations in Western economies which motivated studies of many classical and neoclassical economists for more than 100 years. The reasoning behind the conviction that business cycles would increasingly become irrelevant was rather simple: if an economy fluctuates for whatever reason, then it is almost always possible to neutralize these cyclic motions by means of anti-cyclic demand policies.
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