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An expenditure that does not vary with one's income. That is, autonomous consumption is what one must spend regardless of how much money one makes. Autonomous consumption is largely fixed during certain time periods. Examples of autonomous consumption include rent or mortgage payments and debt service. If one's income is zero, then autonomous consumption is financed by spending savings or by borrowing. See also: Induced Expenditure.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
autonomous consumptionthat part of total CONSUMPTION expenditure that does not vary with changes in NATIONAL INCOME or DISPOSABLE INCOME. In the short term, consumption expenditure consists of INDUCED CONSUMPTION (consumption expenditure that varies directly with income) and autonomous consumption. Autonomous consumption represents some minimum level of consumption expenditure that is necessary to sustain a basic standard of living and which consumers would therefore need to undertake even at zero income. See CONSUMPTION SCHEDULE.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005