Acceleration Principle

DEFINITION of 'Acceleration Principle'

An economic concept that draws a connection between output and capital investment. According to the acceleration principle, if demand for consumer goods increases, then the percentage change in the demand for machines and other investment necessary to make these goods will increase even more (and vice versa). In other words, if income increases, there will be a corresponding but magnified change in investment.


Also referred to as the accelerator principle.

BREAKING DOWN 'Acceleration Principle'

The acceleration principle has the effect of exaggerating booms and recessions in the economy. This makes sense, as companies want to optimize their profits when they have a successful product, investing in more factories and capital investments to produce more. If a recession hits, they will reduce investment. This investment reduction can increase the length of the recession. This is because less investment means less jobs created, and so on.

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