DEFINITION of 'Kondratieff Wave'
A long-term cycle present in capitalist economies that represents long-term, high-growth and low-growth economic periods. This theory was founded by Nikolai D. Kondratieff (also spelled "Kondratiev"), a Communist Russia era economist who noticed an approximately 50-year cycle in European agricultural commodity prices and copper prices. Kondratieff believed that these long cycles were a feature of the economic activity of capitalist nations, and that they involved periods of evolution and self-correction.
Also known as "Kondratiev waves", "supercylces", "K-waves", "surges" or "long waves".
BREAKING DOWN 'Kondratieff Wave'
The K-Wave cycle theory was watched closely 50 years following the market crash of 1929, after which time it was deemed pertinent to economic and political cycles, but not useful when applied as a stock market theory. Kondratieff's views were disliked by Communist Russia because he supported the idea that capitalist nations experienced cycles and were not necessarily on a path to destruction. As a result, he ended up in a concentration camp in Siberia, where he faced the death penalty in 1938.