772. A. Loveday to Harrod , 30 May 1938 [a]


30 May 1938

Dear Harrod,

As you are aware, the Economic Intelligence Service of the League of Nations has been making statistical investigations into business cycle problems, the enquiry being financed by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The investigations are a continuation of those made by Professor Haberler, the results of which were published in a book called "Prosperity and Depression" (League of Nations, 1937). [1]

Two reports have now been prepared on these problems. The first is called "A statistical test of business cycles theories" and gives an elementary outline of the method used, an application of this method to the problem of explaining fluctuations in investment activity and a programme of further research. The second is called "Business cycles in the United States of America, 1919-1937" and contains some positive conclusions regarding the cyclical movements in that country and some critical conclusions regarding certain business cycle theories. [2]

A small meeting of experts [b] from five or six countries interested in this subject, is being held at Cambridge from July 18th to July 20th or 21st, for an informal discussion of the reports mentioned above. I should be very glad if you would be willing to attend it. [3] If you consent to take part, the reports could be sent to you by the middle of June. [4]

Travelling expenses and subsistence allowance will be paid by the Secretariat, the latter at a rate of 60 Swiss francs per day.

Yours sincerely,

A. Loveday (printed)

(Director of the Financial Section and Economic Intelligence Service)

P. S. The names of the best hotels in Cambridge are, I believe, the "University Arms" and the "Bull".

R.F. Harrod, Esq., Christ Church, Oxford.

  1. 1. G. Haberler, Prosperity and Depression (1937).

    2. The two reports were later elaborated into J. Tinbergen, Statistical Testing of Business Cycle Theories (1939).

    3. Harrod's invitation was first agreed by Loveday and Robertson and later independently suggested by Tinbergen, who also proposed the following names: R. Frisch, J. R. Hicks, E. Lundberg, G. Haberler, J. Marschak, R. G. D. Allen, and F. Divisia (Loveday to Robertson, 2 May 1938, extract in LoN 10B.33815.12653). Robertson commented that Tinbergen's list was excellent, but if it was thought to be too British he submitted that this time Hicks would be more helpful than Harrod (Robertson to Loveday, 3 May 1938, in LoN 10B.33815.12653).

    4. Harrod accepted on 4 June (in LoN 10B.33815.12653); he asked whether it would be possible to hold the meeting immediately before or after the British Association meeting. On 7 June Loveday regretted that it was not possible to re-arrange the meeting (in LoN 10B.33815.12653).

    1. a. CcTLS, one page, in LoN 10B/33815/12653.

      b. Ms: «expoerts».

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