The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Juglar, Clément (1819–1905)

  • Murray Milgate
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_977

Abstract

Like his rather more illustrious compatriot Francois Quesnay, Juglar is an example of a physician turned economist. The circular flow of economic life – which it is often said Quesnay saw in terms of an analogy to the circulatory system – in Juglar’s work seems have as its counterpart the view of the economic process as one of quasi- rhythmical variations between good and bad trade. This simple idea has been of profound importance in the study of alterations in the conditions of economic prosperity ever since. Both Wesley Clair Mitchell and Joseph Schumpeter in their classic studies of business cycles (in 1927 and 1939 respectively) credit Juglar’s contribution as having been seminal in the field. For Mitchell, it was Juglar’s recognition of the cyclical character of economic crises that established him as a pioneer (1927, p. 452); for Schumpeter it was Juglar’s perception of how theory, statistics and history ought to contribute to the study of industrial fluctuations (1939, pp. 162–3). There is something to each of these claims, but it should not be forgotten that other authors had also done much in both of these areas – one may mention Samuel Jones Loyd, John Wade and Amasa Walker. As theorists of industrial fluctuations, of course, Sismondi, Rodbertus and Marx would also need to be mentioned.

Keywords

Business cycles Circular flow Juglar cycles Juglar, C. Mitchell, W. C. Real business cycles Schumpeter, J. A. Wicksell, J. G. K. 

JEL Classifications

B31 

Like his rather more illustrious compatriot Francois Quesnay, Juglar is an example of a physician turned economist. The circular flow of economic life – which it is often said Quesnay saw in terms of an analogy to the circulatory system – in Juglar’s work seems have as its counterpart the view of the economic process as one of quasi- rhythmical variations between good and bad trade. This simple idea has been of profound importance in the study of alterations in the conditions of economic prosperity ever since. Both Wesley Clair Mitchell and Joseph Schumpeter in their classic studies of business cycles (in 1927 and 1939 respectively) credit Juglar’s contribution as having been seminal in the field. For Mitchell, it was Juglar’s recognition of the cyclical character of economic crises that established him as a pioneer (1927, p. 452); for Schumpeter it was Juglar’s perception of how theory, statistics and history ought to contribute to the study of industrial fluctuations (1939, pp. 162–3). There is something to each of these claims, but it should not be forgotten that other authors had also done much in both of these areas – one may mention Samuel Jones Loyd, John Wade and Amasa Walker. As theorists of industrial fluctuations, of course, Sismondi, Rodbertus and Marx would also need to be mentioned.

Juglar practised as a physician until 1848. His first work in the social sciences was on the cyclical pattern of birth, death, and marriage rates in France, and it appeared in the Journal des Economistes in October–December 1851 and January–June 1852. He moved on to examine the discount policy of the Bank of France and published his findings in the Annuaire de léconomie politique for 1856 and in the Journal des Economistes for April–May 1857. In 1852 he was elected into the Société d’Economie Politique and he was one of the founders of the Société de Statistique de Paris in 1860. In 1868 he published an account of the policies and practices of the French monetary authorities and their effects on the exchanges.

There is, however, little doubt that Juglar’s most important work on business cycles is his Des crises commerciales et de leur retour périodique en France, en Angleterre, et aux Etats-Unis, first published in 1860. Juglar’s analysis of crises is essentially a monetary one – protracted periods of inflation and expansion are brought to an end when the banking system initiates a contraction in the face of unacceptable pressures on its specie reserves. This is very like the story Wicksell was later to tell, but without the sophistication of Wicksellian theory. Subsequent theories of the business cycle, which attributed the process to ‘real’ causes, were critical of this aspect of Juglar’s argument. The observed periodicity of the cycle – of nine to ten years – is commonly known in the applied literature on business cycles as a Juglar cycle.

Selected Works

  • 1860. Des crises commerciales et leur retour périodique en France, en Angleterre, et aux Etats-Unis, 2nd ed. Paris: Guillaumin. 1889.

  • 1868. Du change et de la liberté démission. Paris: Guillaumin.

Bibliography

  1. Mitchell, W.C. 1927. Business cycles: The problem and its setting. New York: NBER.Google Scholar
  2. Schumpeter, J.A. 1939. Business cycles: A theoretical, historical, and statistical analysis of the capitalist process, 2 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray Milgate
    • 1
  1. 1.