This book is the first of two volumes that aim to provide an up-to-date overview of the key data and techniques necessary for analysing the historical behaviour of business and financial cycles in the United Kingdom. Drawing on an extensive secondary literature and the considerable body of historical macroeconomic and financial time series data that exist for the United Kingdom, the two volumes will review the key features of historical recessions and recoveries over the course of three and a half centuries.
Volume 1 provides an overview of UK business cycles since 1660. The first part of the book considers old and new theories of the business cycle, looking at the impulses that generate business cycles and the propagation mechanisms that determine their duration and amplitude. The second part of the book uses the latest historical estimates of GDP to look at different ways of measuring and estimating business cycle fluctuations within a simple univariate framework. Finally, the book provides a narrative of UK economic fluctuations since 1660 using a whole range of economic data to shed light on the main drivers of cyclical behaviour. It concludes by highlighting areas for future research especially with regard to the link between business and financial cycles, some of which will be explored in Volume 2.