Expectation and Forecast. Business Cycle Research in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands, 1920-1980

Prof. Dr. Alexander Nützenadel, Berlin (Principal Investigator)

Laetitia Lenel M.A., Berlin

Mapping the Future. A Euro-American History of Business Cycle Forecasting, 1920-1980

The dissertation traces the global history of business cycle forecasting in the twentieth century, focusing on different forecasting tools established by economists and statisticians in the U.S. and Europe. Analyzing the making, the dissemination, the contestation, and, for some cases, the disappearance of these tools, the project investigates the efforts of economists to tackle the problem of future uncertainty throughout the twentieth century. The dissertation argues that the way economists formed expectations about the future changed fundamentally in this period, and that this change was not only an indicator, but also a factor in a fundamental transformation of economics, and, indeed, economic decision-making in the twentieth century.

 

Publications

Lenel, Laetitia (2018): Futurama. Business Forecasting and the Dynamics of Capitalism in the Interwar Period. Working Papers of the Priority Programme 1859 “Experience and Expectation. Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour” No 3 (January), Berlin