Journal of the History of Economic Thought

Research Article

Which was the “Real” Kondratiev: 1925 or 1928?

Vincent Barnetta1

a1 CREES, Birmingham University.

It is to be regretted that Nikolai Kondratiev's 1928 paper on long cycles—“The price dynamics of industrial and agricultural commodities: the theory of relative dynamics and conjuncture”—was omitted from the Pickering and Chatto English language edition of his works published in 1998. This is one of the two most important papers excluded from this edition, the other being the full text of his plan for agriculture and forestry, 1924–28. In response, this note discusses some modifications that occurred in Kondratiev's explanation of long cycles between 1925 and 1928, and puts to rest the suggestion that these changes might have taken place as the result of political factors rather than a genuine change of mind. I also counter some ofmy critics who have taken issue with my presentation of Kondratiev's conception of long cycles (most notably Jan Reijnders (2001) in this journal), and link this with a more general discussion of some of the methodological issues involved.