Kondratieff Waves. Dimensions and Prospects at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Yearbook
This issue starts a series of annual almanacs dedicated to the analysis of economic fluctuations of various lengths, but especially – to the study of large-scale wave-like perturbations of the global socioeconomic realm with a characteristic length of about half a century. These fluctuations, or cycles as preferred by some authors, were named ‘Kondratieff waves’ after the famous Russian scientist Nikolay Kondratieff. In the present publication these waves will be frequently referred also as K-waves for short. The analysis of K-waves allows understanding the long-term dynamics of the World System development, as well as proposing future scenarios about the unfolding of the global economy, for it clarifies much for our understanding of the crises of the past and the current global economic crisis. Kondratieff waves constitute a sort of mystery that has been haunting economic and social researchers for almost a century. Why do we observe such regularity in the long-term behavior of economic and non-economic indicators? Why in certain periods do we observe prolonged upswings, whereas in other periods – notwithstanding all the enormous efforts of interested macroeconomic actors – economic development is accompanied by prolonged depressions? What gets out of order in social and economic mechanisms? This first issue offers a wide panorama of views on the Kondratieff waves' phenomenon; here one can also find information on Kondratieff's life and works. This edition will be useful for economists, social scientists, as well as for a wide circle of those interested in the problems of the past, present, and future of world economics and globalization.
The analysis of long economic cycles allows us to understand long-term world-system dynamics, to develop forecasts, to explain crises of the past, as well as the current global economic crisis. The article offers an historical sketch of research on K-waves; it analyzes the nature of Kondratieff waves that are considered as a special form of cyclical dynamics that emerged in the industrial period of the World System history. It offers a historical and theoretical analysis of K-wave dynamics in the World System framework; in particular, it studies the influence of the long wave dynamics on the changes of the world GDP growth rates during the last two centuries. Special attention is paid to the interaction between Kondratieff waves and Juglar cycles. The article is based on substantial statistical data, it extensively employs quantitative analysis, contains numerous tables and diagrams. On the basis of the proposed analysis it offers some forecasts of the world economic development in the next two decades.
The article concludes with a section that presents a hypothesis that the change of K-wave upswing and downswing phases correlates significantly with the phases of fluctuations in the relationships between the World System Core and Periphery, as well as with the World System Core changes.