De Economist

, Volume 125, Issue 4, pp 525–543

Growth cycles

  • Jay W. Forrester

DOI: 10.1007/BF01221050

Cite this article as:
Forrester, J.W. De Economist (1977) 125: 525. doi:10.1007/BF01221050


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.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1977

Authors and Affiliations

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

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