The Public Interest

How obsolete is the business cycle?

R. A. Gordon

Fall 1970

The American economy has not experienced a serious business depression since the 1930's. It has shared this good fortune with the rest of the world. Indeed, in Western Europe and Japan even mild business recessions seem largely to have disappeared. Among the countries of Western Europe, North America, and Japan represented in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada continued until the 1960's to experience fairly regular business recessions of a mild sort: in 1948-49, 1953-54, 1957-58, 1960-61--and, history is likely to record in 1970.

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