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Jean-Baptiste Fourier at the Moscow Conjuncture Institute: Harmonic Analysis of Business Cycles

Marco Paulo Franco, Leonardo Ribeiro and Eduardo Albuquerque ()
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Marco Paulo Franco: Fundação João Pinheiro
Leonardo Ribeiro: Cedeplar-UFMG

No 621, Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG from Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Abstract: This article proposes a historical assessment of harmonic analysis of business cycles. For that purpose, it presents Jean-Baptiste Fourier’s main idea and addresses its reception at the Moscow Conjuncture Institute, mediated by Henry L. Moore and Albert L. Vainshtein, which led to Eugen Slutsky’s well-known 1927 article on the random causes of cyclical processes. In addition, more recent approaches to business cycles, such as real business cycle theory and spectral analysis, are traced back to Fourier and key figures working on economic applications of harmonic analysis in the first decades of the 20th century. Revolving around its ability to both decompose and build cycles, this tool still presents an untapped potential for contemporary analyses of long-term economic dynamics. Hence, it is worthwhile to determine Fourier’s role in the history of economic thought, what necessarily leads to the long-lasting contributions of the creative institute headed by Nikolai Kondratiev.

Keywords: harmonic analysis; business cycles; Fourier transform; spectral analysis; Eugen Slutsky (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B16 B23 C02 E32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2020-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-mac
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