Born 1874; died 1956. French bourgeois economist, professor at the University of Lille. His chief contribution is his analysis of problems of the capitalist cycle.
In 1909, Aftalion published his main work, which was republished in 1913 under the title of Periodic Crises of Overproduction. Using a vast amount of empirical data, he showed that the cyclical dynamics of the output of the elements of fixed capital depends ultimately on the production of consumer goods. He held that the main causes of crises are the psychological nature of man and the use of machine technology, and not the contradictions of the capitalist system. Aftalion proposed the principle of acceleration, which became widespread in bourgeois political economy.
WORKSLa Réalité des surproductions générales: Essai d’une théorie des crises générales et périodiques. Paris, 1909. (Republished as Les Crises périodiques de surproduction. Paris, 1913.)
Les Fondements du socialisme. Paris, 1923.
La Valeur de la monnaie dans l’économie contemporaine, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1948–50.