De Economist

, Volume 125, Issue 4, pp 525–543 | Cite as

Growth cycles

  • Jay W. Forrester


Theories of cyclic behavior are usually presented as descriptions of how assumed causes might produce observed fluctuations. But, computer simulation is more powerful than verbal argument in relating an assumed structure to the implied behavior. The System Dynamics National Model is derived from descriptions of industrial structure and the policies governing decisions. The Model plays the micro-economic roles of participants to show how resulting macro-economic behavior is generated. From only the underlying real structure of managing inventories, employment, and capital investment, the several historically observed cyclic modes can arise—the business cycle, 15-to-25-year Kuznets cycle, and 45-to-60-year Kondratieff cycle. The Kondratieff cycle results from structure within the capital sectors and may now be producing serious economic symptoms that are erroneously being attributed to the business cycle.


System Dynamics Computer Simulation International Economic Business Cycle Public Finance 
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. [1]
    Forrester, Jay W.,Industrial Dynamics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1961.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Forrester, Jay W.,Principles of Systems, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Forrester, Jay W.,Urban Dynamics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1969.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Forrester, Jay W.,World Dynamics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, second edition, 1973.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Forrester, Jay W.,Collected Papers, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1975.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Forrester, Jay W., ‘Business Structure, Economic Cycles, and National Policy,’Futures, VIII (1976), pp. 195–214.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Forrester, Jay W., Nathaniel J. Mass, and Charles J. Ryan, ‘The System Dynamics National Model: Understanding Socio-Economic Behavior and Policy Alternatives,’Technological Forecasting and Social Change, IX, July 1976.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Forrester, Nathan B.,The Life Cycle of Economic Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1973.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Frisch, Ragnar, ‘Propagation Problems and Impulse Problems in Dynamic Economics,’ inEconomic Essays in Honor of Gustav Cassel, London, 1933; reprinted in Gordon, Robert A., and Lawrence R. Klein (eds.),Readings in Business Cycle Theory, Homewood, Illinois, 1965.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Garvey, George, ‘Kondratieff's Theory of Long Cycles,’Review of Economic Statistics, XXV (1943), pp. 203–220.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Goodman, Michael R.,Study Notes in System Dynamics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Kondratieff, N. D., ‘The Long Waves in Economic Life,’Review of Economic Statistics, XVII (1935), pp. 105–115.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Mandel, Ernest,Late Capitalism, London, 1975.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Mass, Nathaniel J.,Economic Cycles: An Analysis of Underlying Causes, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1975.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Meadows, Dennis L.,Dynamics of Commodity Production Cycles, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Meadows, Donnella H.,et al.,The Limits to Growth, New York, 1972.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Schumpeter, Joseph A., ‘The Analysis of Economic Change,’Review of Economic Statistics, XVII (1935), pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Historical Statistics of the United States, Volumes 1 and 2, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Government Printing Office No. 003-024-00120-9, 1975.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1976, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Government Printing Office No. 003-024-01173-5, 1976.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Long Term Economic Growth 1860–1970, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Government Printing Office No. 0324-0014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay W. Forrester
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge

Personalised recommendations