Edward Russel Dewey (1895–1978) was an economist who studied cycles in economics and other fields.
Dewey first became interested in cycles while Chief Economic Analyst of the Department of Commerce in 1930 or 1931 because PresidentHoover wanted to know the cause of the Great Depression. Dewey reported that each economist to whom he spoke gave him a different answer and he lost faith in the current economic methods. He received and took advice to study how business behaviour occurred rather than why. Therefore, his views are generally regarded as inconsistent with mainstream economics.
Dewey devoted his life to the study of cycles, claiming that “everything that has been studied has been found to have cycles present.” He carried out extensive studies of cyclicity in economic, geological, biological, sociology, physical sciences and other disciplines. In 1940, Edward R. Dewey learned of a 1931 Canadian conference on biological cycles held at Matamek. Under the guidance of Dewey and the conference leader, Copley Amory, the conference’s Permanent Committee was reorganized into the Foundation for the Study of Cycles in 1941, and its scope was enlarged to encompass all disciplines. The foundation was set up with a board that included distinguished scientists and industrialists to act as a central clearing house of cycles studies from diverse areas.
The Foundation made studies of natural and social sciences as well as business and economics, and new methods were devised for isolating significant cycles present in time series. A magazine called Cycles was published from June 1950, and the foundation also published a four-volume collection of reports on cycles including some of Dewey’s selected writings on cycles named “Cycles Classic Library Collection”. Together with author Og Mandino, Dewey published a book entitled Cycles: The Mysterious Forces That Trigger Events.
As a result of his research, Dewey asserted that seemingly unrelated time series often had similar cycles periods present and that when they did the phase of these cycles was mostly very similar (cycle synchrony). He also said that there were many cycles with periods that were related by powers or products of 2 and 3. This is illustrated in the table below. To construct this table starting from the period 17.75 years, multiply by three as you proceed along diagonals from lower left to upper right, and multiply by two as you proceed along diagonals from lower right to upper left. Dewey reported that the underlined numbers are commonly occurring periods (in years):
Volume IV of the Cycles Classic Library Collection contains 1380 reports of cycles period determinations by scientists, doctors, economists and cycles researchers. In these reports there is a tendency for certain periods of cycles to be reported more commonly. These common periods include the underlined periods above and some other periods such as 9.6 years, found in the 9.6 year cycle of lynx abundance and 3.39 years (40.68 months), found in the US stock market, which Dewey says is the most commonly found period.