Rates of Innovations and Profits in the Long Wave

  • Alfred Kleinknecht
Conference paper


The severe economic problems in most Western countries during the last decade have helped to reveal a decisive weakness in economic theorizing: none of the different schools of economic thought, whether Marxist or non-Marxist, have a satisfactory theory of long-term economic development. There is virtually no economic theory or paradigm which, beyond pure speculation, would allow any well founded economic forecast of what will happen to economic growth and employment in the next ten years or so. In judging the character of the present economic crisis, even the most basic questions are still open: Have some medium-term business cycles run out of their normal course since the mid-1970s, due to exogenous shocks and policy mistakes (end of the Bretton Woods system, oil price shock, budget deficits)? Will there be a return towards full employment and price stability once these policy mistakes are corrected and the shocks absorbed, as the McCracken report of the OECD (1977) puts it? Or do the low growth rates since the mid-1970s rather indicate a return to a “normal” long-term growth path once the postwar reconstruction boom had faded (reconstruction hypothesis)? Or, to sketch still another possible interpretation: can the economic problems of the last decade be taken as evidence that capitalism has reached the final stage of its life cycle, its last stage of decadence and stagnation? Are we experiencing the Final Crisis of Capitalism?


Radical Innovation Steam Engine Profit Rate Technological Paradigm Innovation Indicator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abelshauser, W. and Petzina, D. (1980), Krise und Rekonstruktion, in W.H. Schröder and R. Spree (Eds) Historische Konjunkturforschung ( Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta ).Google Scholar
  2. Altvater, E. (1982), Der Kapitalismus vor einem neuen Aufschwung? Uber Theorien der “langen Welle” und der “Stadien”, in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft ( Wien: Festschrift for Theodor Prager and Philipp Rieger).Google Scholar
  3. Altvater, E., Hoffmann, J., and Semmler, W. (1980), Vom Wirtschaftswunder zur Wirtschaftskrise, Oekonomie und Politik in der Bundesrepublik, 2nd edn, 2 Vols. (Berlin: 0lle and Wolter).Google Scholar
  4. Baker, R. (1976), New and Improved … Inventors and Inventions that Have Changed the Modern World ( London: British Museum Publications).Google Scholar
  5. Barr, K. (1979), Long waves: A selective annotated bibliography, Review, 2 (4), 675.Google Scholar
  6. Bieshaar, H. and Kleinknecht, A. (1984), Kondratieff long waves in aggregate output? An econometric test, Konjunkturpolitik, 30 (5).Google Scholar
  7. Clark, J., Freeman, C., and Soete, L. (1981), Long waves and technological developments in the 20th century, in D. Petzina and G. van Roon (Eds) Konjunktur, Krise, Gesellschaft. Wirtschaftliche Wechsellagen und soziale Entwicklung im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert ( Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta ).Google Scholar
  8. Coombs, R. and Kleinknecht, A. (1984), New evidence of the shift towards process innovation during the long wave upswing, in C. Freeman (Ed) Design, Innovation and Long Cycles in Economic Development (London: Royal College of Art, Design Research Publications; reprinted in London: Pinter, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  9. De Bono, E. (1974), Eureka! How and When the Greatest Inventions Were Made (New York: Thames and Hudson).Google Scholar
  10. De Wolff, S. (1915), Accumulatie en Crisis, De Nieuwe Tijd, 20, 1; 353; 469.Google Scholar
  11. DIW (1973/1975/1978), Produktionsvolumen und -potential, Produktionsfaktoren der Industrie im Gebiet der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Statistische Kennziffern,13th, 16th, 20th edns, prepared by R. Krengel et al. at the German Institute for Economic Research, West Berlin.Google Scholar
  12. Dosi, G. (1982), Technological paradigms and technological trajectories, Research Policy, 11, 147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Enos, J.L. (1962), Invention and innovation in the petroleum refining industry, in The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity ( New York: National Bureau of Economic Research ), pp. 299–331.Google Scholar
  14. Fontevieille, L. (1979), Les mouvements longs de Kondratieff et. la theorie de la régulation, Issues (Cahiers de Recherches de la Revue Economie et Politique) No. 4.Google Scholar
  15. Fontevieille, L. (1984), Contribution à l’étude des fluctuations longues; le capital fixe productive d la Compagnie d’Anzin, in Recherches et Travaux, Bulletin No. 13, Institut d’Histoire Economique et Sociale de l’Université de Paris, pp. 23–58.Google Scholar
  16. Freeman, C. (1982), The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 2nd edn (London: Pinter) (1st edn: Penguin Economics, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  17. Freeman, C., Clark, J., and Soete, L. (1982), Unemployment and Technical Innovation. A Study of Long Waves and Economic Development ( London: Pinter).Google Scholar
  18. Gadisseur, J. (1979), Le produit physique de l’économic belge, 1831–1913. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Université de Liège.Google Scholar
  19. Garvy, G. (1943), Kondratieff’s theory of long cycles, Review of Economic Statistics, 25, 203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gellman Research Associates (1976), Indicators of International Trends in Technological Innovation (S. Feinman and W. Fuentevilla, Eds), PB-263 738 ( Washington, DC: National Science Foundation ).Google Scholar
  21. Glismann, H., Rodemer, H., and Wolter, F. (1981), Lange Wellen wirtschaftlichen Wachstums, in D. Petzina and G. van Roon (Eds), Konjunktur, Krise, Gesellschaft ( Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta ).Google Scholar
  22. Glismann, H., Rodemer, H., and Wolter, F. (1983), Long waves in economic development: causes and empirical evidence, in C. Freeman (Ed), Long Waves in the World Economy ( London: Butterworths ).Google Scholar
  23. Gordon, D.M., Edwards, R., and Reich, M. (1982), Segmented Work, Divided Workers ( London: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  24. Haustein, H.-D. and Neuwirth, E. (1982), Long waves in world industrial production, energy consumption, innovations, inventions, and their identification by spectral analysis, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 22 (1).Google Scholar
  25. Hill, T.P. (1979), Profits and Rates of Return ( Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  26. Hoeksema, K. (1984), Strategien voor een vakbeweging. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Politics, Free University of Amsterdam (mimeo).Google Scholar
  27. Huber, J. (1982), Die verlorene Unschuld der Okologie ( Frankfurt: Fischer).Google Scholar
  28. Jénossy, F. (1966), Das Ende der Wirtschaftswunder ( Frankfurt: Neue Kritik).Google Scholar
  29. Jewkes, T., Sawers, D., and Stillerman, R. (1958), The Sources of Invention (London: Macmillan, 2nd edn, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  30. Kleinknecht, A. (1981), Observations on the Schumpeterian swarming of innovations, Futures, 13 (4).Google Scholar
  31. Kleinknecht, A. (1984), Prosperity, crisis and innovation patterns, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 8, 251.Google Scholar
  32. Kleinknecht, A. (1986), Innovation Patterns in Crisis and Prosperity: Schumpeter’s Long Cycle Reconsidered (London: Macmillan and New York: St. Martin’s Press).Google Scholar
  33. Kondratieff, N.D. (1926), Die langen Wellen der Konjunktur, Archiv,jar Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 56, 573.Google Scholar
  34. Kuczynski, T. (1978), Spectral Analysis and Cluster Analysis as Mathematical Methods for the Periodization of Historical Processes. Paper presented at 7th Int. Economic History Conf., Edinburgh, August 1978.Google Scholar
  35. Kuczynski, T. (1980), Have there been differences between the growth rates in different periods of the development of the capitalist world economy since 1850? Historisch-sozialwissenschaftliche Forschungen, Vol. 6 ( Stuttgart: KlettCotta ).Google Scholar
  36. Landes, D.S. (1969), The Unbound Prometheus ( London: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  37. Mandavi, K.B. (1972), Technological Innovation: An Efficiency Investigation ( Stockholm: Beckmans).Google Scholar
  38. Mandel, E. (1973), Der Spätkapitalismus, 2nd edn ( Frankfurt: Suhrkamp).Google Scholar
  39. Mandel, W. (1980), Long Waves of Capitalist Development: The Marxist Explanation ( London: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  40. McCracken, P. et al. (1977), Towards Full Employment and Price Stability ( Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  41. Mensch, G. (1975), Das technologische Patt: Innovationen überwinden die Depression ( Frankfurt: Umschau).Google Scholar
  42. Menschikov, S. and Klimenko, L. (1985), On long waves in the economy, in G. Bianchi et al. (Eds), Long Waves, Depression and Innovation: Implications for National and Regional Economic Policy, CP-85–9 (Laxenburg, Austria: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis ).Google Scholar
  43. Metz, R. (1983), Long waves in English and German economic historical series from the middle of the sixteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, in R. Fremdling and P.K. O’Brien (Eds), Productivity in the Economies of Europe ( Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta ).Google Scholar
  44. Mowery, D. (1981), The Emergence and Growth of Industrial Research in American Manufacturing, 1899–1945. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Economics, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  45. Mitchell, B.R. (1981), European Historical Statistics, 2nd rev. edn ( London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  46. Mueller, W.F. (1962), The origins of the basic inventions underlying DuPont’s major product and process innovations, 1920–1950, in The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity ( New York: National Bureau of Economic Research ), pp. 323–346.Google Scholar
  47. Nasbeth, L. and Ray, G.F. (1974), The Diffusion of New Industrial Processes ( London: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  48. OECD (1983), Main Economic Indicatiors ( Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  49. Perez, C. (1983), Structural change and the assimilation of new technologies in economic and social systems, Futures, October, 357.Google Scholar
  50. Robertson, P. (1974), The Shell Book of Firsts ( London: Ebury Press).Google Scholar
  51. Roobeek, A. (1984), De relatie tussen technologie en economische ontwikkeling. Een literatuuranalyse. Research Memorandum, 8412, Faculty of Economics, Amsterdam University.Google Scholar
  52. Rosenberg, N. (1982), Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics ( London: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  53. Rosenberg, N., and Frischtak, C.R. (1983), Long waves and economic growth: A critical appraisal, American Economic Association, Papers and Proceedings, 73 (2), 146.Google Scholar
  54. Rostow, W.W. (1978), The World Economy: History and Prospect ( London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  55. Salvati, M. (1983), Political business cycles and long waves in industrial relations: notes on Kalecki and Phelps Brown, in C. Freeman (Ed), Long Waves in the World Economy ( London: Butterworths ).Google Scholar
  56. Schmidt, P. (1976), Econometrics ( New York: Dekker).Google Scholar
  57. Schmookler, L. (1966), Invention and Economic Growth ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  58. Scholz, L. (1976), Kontroverse um das technologische Patt, Ifo-schnelldienst 29/30/76, p. 13ff.Google Scholar
  59. Schumpeter, J.A. (1939), Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process, 2 vols ( New York: McGraw-Hill).Google Scholar
  60. Screpanti, E. (1984), Long economic cycles and recurring proletarian insurgencies, Review, 8(3), Winter.Google Scholar
  61. Spree, R. (1978), Wachstumstrends und Konjunkturzyklen in der deutschen Wirtschaft von 1820 bis 1913 ( Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht ).Google Scholar
  62. Térleckji, N. (1963), Research and development: Its growth and composition, Studies in Business Economics, No. 82 ( New York: National Industrial Conference Board ).Google Scholar
  63. Van der Zwan, A. (1980), On the assessment of the Kondratieff cycle and related issues, in S.K. Kuipes and G.J. Lanjouw (Eds), Prospects of Economic Growth ( Amsterdam: North Holland ) p. 183.Google Scholar
  64. van Duijn, J.J. (1979), De lange golf in de economie ( Assen: Van Gorcum).Google Scholar
  65. Van Ewijk, C. (1981), A spectral analysis of the Kondratieff-cycle, Kyklos, 35 (3), 468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Van Ewijk, C. (1982), The long wave — A real phenomenon? De Economist, 129, 324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Van Gelderen, J. (alias J. Fedder) (1913), Springvloed: Beschouwingen over industriële ontwikkeling en prijsbeweging (3 parts), De Nieuwe Tijd, 18, 253, 369; 445.Google Scholar
  68. Van der Kooy, B.J.G. (1978), Microcomputers (Deventer: Kluwer).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred Kleinknecht

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations