Economists have identified 5 Kondratieff Waves since the 18th century.
- The first resulted from the invention of the steam engine and ran from 1780 to 1830.
- The second cycle arose because of the steel industry and the spread of railroads, and ran from 1830 to 1880.
- The third cycle resulted from electrification and innovation in the chemical industry, and ran from 1880 to 1930.
- The fourth cycle was fueled by autos and petrochemicals, and lasted from 1930 to 1970.
- The fifth cycle was based on information technology and began in 1970 and ran through the present, though some economists believe we are at the start of a sixth wave that will be driven by biotechnology and healthcare.
For all his troubles, the Russian economist Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kondratiev was killed by a firing squad in 1938.