By Professor Derek H. Aldcroft, Peter Fearon
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Extra resources for British Economic Fluctuations, 1790–1939
4 V. P. Timoshenko, The Role if Agricultural Fluctuations in the Business Cycle (1930 ). Introduction 39 This postulated an association between metereological conditions (changes in which were activated by sunspots) and economic activity, the connecting link being provided by changes in agricultural output. But for the most part business cycle scholars have been content to regard agricultural fluctuations as non-cyclic in character and more in the nature of random shocks which occur at irregular intervals and upset the pattern of business fluctuations.
Nor is it possible to derive much satisfaction from looking at the investment data, since it is practically impossible to determine that part of investment which arises from new innovational opportunities as distinct from that which is purely a response to rising demand or the needs of replacement. 2 It is easy to be critical rather than constructive. While Schumpeter's theory has not been proved, neither is it completely disproven. It certainly has many weaknesses as a general theory and it is difficult to give it proper empirical clothing without straining at the facts.
But innovational opportunities cannot be turned on and off like a tap and for this reason it is difficult to visualise them as being of great significance at the turning-points of cycles. g. steam, iron and steel, electricity and the internal combustion engine, ranged over lengthy periods of time, their application was diffused and as a result they cut across standard business cycles. Hence, if anything, they would appear more relevant to cycles of longer duration than that of the Juglar. Furthermore, the supposition that innovatory impulses have a periodic sequence which fits the cyclical pattern is not very convincing.
British Economic Fluctuations, 1790–1939 by Professor Derek H. Aldcroft, Peter Fearon