Kondratiev Wave – Definition

Cite this article as:"Kondratiev Wave – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated April 7, 2020, last accessed October 27, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/kondratiev-wave-definition/.


Kondratiev Wave

A Kondratiev Wave is a phenomenon that describes the long-term economic cycle of between forty to sixty years. This long-term economic cycle is a combination of economic contraction and expansion, that is, it has alternating periods of recession and recovery. A Kondratiev Wave is a core characteristic of a capitalist economy that features alternating boom-bust cycles.

Nikolai D. Kondratiev (Kondratieff), a Russian economist founded the Kondratiev Wave theory to depict a modern world economy that comprises cycles of high growth (expansion) and cycles of slow growth (contraction). The Kondratiev Wave is also called “long wave.cycle,” “Kondratieff Wave,” and “K-Wave.”

A Little More on What is a Kondratiev Wave

The Kondratiev Wave theory explains the long-term boom-bust cycles that exist in capitalists economies around the world. This long-term cycle is often between 40 to 60 years and entails periods of high growth and slow growth in an economy. The Kondratiev Wave was developed in the 18th century and since then, five Kondratiev Waves have been identified by economists. These identified five Kondratiev Waves occurred in;

  • 1780 to 1830
  • 1830 to 1880
  • 1880 to 1930
  • 1930 to 1970 1970 to date.

Each of these Kondratiev Waves occurred in different industries such as the steel industry, chemical industry, technology industry, and others.

What Happened to Nikolai D. Kondratiev?

Despite that Nikolai D. Kondratiev was a Russian Communist era economist, his theory was not accepted by economists, not even in Russia. The Russian communist officials opposed the Kondratiev Wave theory on the premise that capitalist nations across the world experience economic ups and downs, not necessarily because of a looming danger or destruction. The Communist officials had great disgust towards Nikolai D. Kondratiev and considered his works and writings as seditious for which he was sentenced to serve a term in Siberia, but he was executed in Siberia in 1938.

References for “Kondratiev Wave”


https://www.investopedia.com › Investing › Financial Analysis


https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com › Resources › Knowledge › Economics


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