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Accelerator Principle

The idea that a small change in consumer behavior can have a large effect on a company's investment. For example, suppose $100 of investment in a bakery produces $100 worth of baked goods. If consumers usually buy $100 of baked goods each year but this increases to $110, the bakery must buy 10% more equipment, baking materials, and so forth, which can increase the amount it invests in its suppliers by more than 10%. The accelerator principle exacerbates advances and declines; it is used in various models of the business cycle. See also: Multiplier.
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Fig. 2 Accelerator. The graph shows how gross national product and the level of investment vary over time.


the relationship between the amount of net or INDUCED INVESTMENT (gross investment less REPLACEMENT INVESTMENT) and the rate of change of NATIONAL INCOME. A rapid rise in income and consumption spending will put pressure on existing capacity and encourage businesses to invest, not only to replace existing capital as it wears out but also to invest in new plant and equipment to meet the increase in demand. By way of simple illustration, let us suppose a business meets the existing demand for its product, utilizing 10 machines, one of which is replaced each year. If demand increases by 20%, it must invest in two new machines to accommodate that demand in addition to the one replacement machine.

Investment is thus, in part, a function of changes in the level of income: I = f(AY). A rise in induced investment, in turn, serves to reinforce the MULTIPLIER effect in increasing national income.

The combined effect of accelerator and multiplier forces working through an investment cycle has been offered as an explanation for changes in the level of economic activity associated with the BUSINESS CYCLE. Because the level of investment depends upon the rate of change of GNP, when GNP is rising rapidly then investment will be at a high level, as producers seek to add to their capacity (time t in Fig. 2). This high level of investment will add to AGGREGATE DEMAND and help to maintain a high level of GNP. However, as the rate of growth of GNP slows down from time t onward, businesses will no longer need to add as rapidly to capacity, and investment will decline towards replacement investment levels. This lower level of investment will reduce aggregate demand and contribute towards the eventual fall in GNP. Once GNP has persisted at a low level for some time, then machines will gradually wear out and businesses will need to replace some of these machines if they are to maintain sufficient production capacity to meet even the lower level of aggregate demand experienced. This increase in the level of investment at time t1 will increase aggregate demand and stimulate the growth of GNP Like FIXED INVESTMENT, investment in stock is also to some extent a function of the rate of change of income so that INVENTORY INVESTMENT is subject to similar accelerator effects.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
And, by leveraging the tessellation library and power of the ATI graphics accelerators, MachStudio Pro can increase the polygon count exponentially, in some instances to more than one billion polygons, without any material drop in the render speed.
"We're amazed at the performance boost to our already fast MachStudio Pro real-time 3D workflow and rendering product with the new ATI FirePro V8750 3D workstation graphics accelerator," said David Koenig, CEO, StudioGPU.
The Wildcat Realizm 100 professional graphics accelerator is available at a MSRP of US$825 and the Wildcat Realizm 200 is available at a MSRP of US$1199 through 3Dlabs' worldwide network of Wildcat System Integrators, Resellers and VARs.
For more information on 3Dlabs' top-performing Wildcat Realizm 100 and 200 professional graphics accelerators, visit
has announced that Number Nine Visual Technology is including E-Color's Colorific(R) and 3Deep(R) software in worldwide shipments of their SR9 Graphics Accelerators. The SR9 is powered by S3's Savage 4 chip which delivers professional power with the hard-core ambition of a gaming board, providing Number Nine's customers with the optimal solution for business applications and games.
With the right graphics accelerators, the game can be spectacular.
In addition, the company anticipates it will take inventory adjustment charges of about $20 million due to the recent decline in market value of 8x CD-ROM drives and for the company's first generation VL-Bus 3D graphics accelerator product.
It can also be configured with the ATI FirePro V7750 3-D workstation graphics accelerator, the company said.<br /> Meanwhile, Cray, Dell, IBM and Sun Microsystems are expected to unveil its own servers based on the six-core AMD Opteron processors later this month.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) (NYSE:AMD), a computing and graphics solutions provider, has announced the availability of the ATI FirePro V7750 graphics accelerator for the high-end market.
has launched the Wildcat Realizm 500 professional graphics accelerator. The new Wildcat Realizm 500 offers high-end graphics performance to Computer-aided Design (CAD) and Digital Content and Creation (DCC) professionals for an MSRP of only US$899.99.
(Nasdaq:CREAF), has introduced two new Wildcat4 products into its high- and ultra high-end Wildcat(R) professional graphics accelerator line to increase the performance and visual quality of AGP 8x-based workstations.