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February 1, 2023 

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ACCUMULATION: The process of acquiring an item and adding that item to others previously acquired. In an economic context this most often refers to the accumulation of capital, as in the phrase "capital accumulation." However, it is also used in the context of consumer durable goods, financial assets, money, wealth, and a host of other "stock" variables. When applied to capital, the process of accumulation occurs through investment.

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MATERIALS BALANCE: A hard and fast rule that the total amount of stuff removed from the natural environment will be eventually returned, probably as pollution. This is based on a fundamental law of physics that says material can be neither created nor destroyed, but only transformed. During any given period (such as a year) the quantity of materials returned to the environment is the difference between the quantity extracted and the quantity used by the economy.

     See also | environment | pollution | natural resources | pollution types | scarcity rent | Pigouvian tax | recycling | Coase theorem | command and control | pollution rights market |


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INDUCED CONSUMPTION

Household consumption expenditures that depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income induce changes in consumption. Induced consumption captures the fundamental psychological law put forth by John Maynard Keynes. It is measured by the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) and is reflected by the positive slope of consumption line. The alternative to induced consumption is autonomous consumption, which does not depend on income.

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