Profile Major Works Resources

Joseph Clément Juglar,  1819-1905

Juglar.gif (27230 bytes)

French physician, statistician and business cycle pioneer. 

Son of a Parisian doctor, Clément Juglar was trained as a physician, obtaining his doctorate in Paris in 1846 with a thesis on pulmonary ailments. Despite a promising start in medicine, Juglar was drawn to economic questions following the events of 1848. By 1851, Juglar was writing on tariff reform (a policy quarrel) and attempting a statistical analysis of patterns of births, deaths and marriages in the French population.

In 1856, Juglar published his celebrated first article on economic crises, followed in 1857 by articles around the Panic of 1857.  In 1860, Juglar presented his famous study of business cycles, before the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, which was subsequently crowned by the academy and published in 1862 as Des crises commerciales. 

Juglar rejected most 'exogenous' theories of the cycle (e.g. climate, note issue, monopolies etc.), and was one of the earliest proponents for the development of a proper "economic" theory of the business cycle, and thus can be called the father of business cycle theory,  He pinned the explanation on the self-perpetuating psychology of speculation, built up during a boom, and excessive use of credit, leading to mismatch between bills and bullion in bank reserves, that can accentuate the crisis by forcing banks to raise interest rates and provoke a credit crunch.. His findings on credit cycles spurred the subsequent efforts of overinvestment theorists such as Tugan-Baranovsky.

Juglar believed this pattern was inevitable, and identified a 8.7 year pattern of boom and bust not only in France, but also in the UK and the USA.  Decades later, Schumpeter baptized the 7-11 industrial cycle as 'the Juglar Cycle'.

Juglar suggested the bullion reserves of banks as the prime indicator of the cycle phase, and spent much of the remainder of his career focusing on this.  In 1865, Juglar directed the compilation and translation of English articles on British banking and money debates (e.g. Bullion debate).  In 1868, Juglar won another contest at the academy with his study on private banknote issue, noting that it had little or nothing to do with economic crisis.

 Juglar produced articles on credit cycles for Leon Say's dictionary and in 1882 a new expanded edition of his 1862 treatise and several more inquires into monetary and credit crisis questions.



top1.gif (924 bytes)Top

Major Works of Clement Juglar




top1.gif (924 bytes)Top

Resources on Clement Juglar


top1.gif (924 bytes)Top

All rights reserved, Gonçalo L. Fonseca