What Is Induced Expenditure? (With Definition and Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 18, 2022

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Induced consumer expenditure demonstrates the relationship between consumption and income. Although it only applies to normal goods that follow the laws of demand and supply, it's a relevant metric that helps professionals determine the current economic state. Understanding this phenomenon can help you calculate how aggregate expenditure affects disposable income. In this article, we discuss induced expenditure, differentiate it from autonomous expenditure, review its categories, highlight its formula, explain its relationship with the multiplier effect, and outline marginals that affect it.

What is induced expenditure?

Induced expenditure, also known as induced customer expenditure, refers to the type of expenditure that varies with income. It comprises a situation where a change in disposable income causes a change in the consumption of a company's goods and services. In macroeconomics, it represents spending in four key sectors. These sectors are business, household, external, and government. Although some expenditures in these sectors are autonomous, others depend on the consumers' income.

Related: What Is Macroeconomics?

Difference between induced customer expenditure and autonomous expenditure

Autonomous expenditure is the opposite of induced customer expenditure. The difference between them is that a variation in income doesn't affect autonomous expenditure. Instead, it depends on various factors like interest rates, discretionary government policies, and global economic growth. Examples of autonomous expenditure are spending on necessities and export. Conversely, components of induced customer expenditure, like investment, consumption, and government spending, positively correlate with real income. When income grows, they increase, and when income declines, they decrease. Examples of this type of expenditure are spending on durable goods and imports.

Related: A Guide to Incurred Expenses (With Examples and FAQs)

Categories of induced and autonomous expenditure

Here are examples of induced and autonomous expenditure in the four key macroeconomic sectors:

Household consumption

Growing income represents an increase in economic activities in an economic cycle known as economic expansion. The economy flourishes in this period, leading businesses to increase production and recruit more employees. This also helps generate more income for the household sector, suppose income taxes remain unchanged. An increase in household income typically implies an increase in disposable income. This usually leads to higher consumer demand for goods and services. Conversely, when income decreases, the economy worsens, decreasing prospective household income.

Although there's a decline in household income, it doesn't affect the demand for all goods and services. In such scenarios, households typically spend less on durable luxury products like cars. Economists classify these expenditures as induced customer expenditure, as they depend on income. Conversely, the decline in income may not affect the household's expenditure on essential products, such as food and beverages. As these expenditures are independent of income, economists refer to them as autonomous consumption.

Related: What Is Consumer Spending and Why Is It Important?

Business investment

An increase in income or expansion in income may encourage businesses and individuals to invest in physical capital. Companies may experience an increase in consumer demand and profit prospects. Because of this, they aim to leverage the situation by increasing production to match the demand. Increasing production requires business managers to buy new equipment or expand the company's production facilities. Investing in physical assets also helps improve labour productivity while helping the organization improve its output with the same input. In addition, increased production also affects the public by creating more jobs.

Consumers experience an increase in their income and employment prospects, which may cause an increase in the consumption of goods and services. As capital investment increases based on income and economic conditions, you can classify it as induced customer expenditure. Conversely, some investments are autonomous because they don't depend on income. An example is the modernization of machinery and factories. Organizations continue to improve their facilities to increase or maintain their production capacity and compete in the market, even when they experience negative economic growth.

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Government spending

The government gets more revenue from taxes due to increased business activities during an economic expansion. As the economy thrives in this period, the government may increase the taxes on business sectors and households. In addition, the government may use this extra revenue to increase spending on goods and services. For instance, they may commission different infrastructure projects, both intangible projects like education and health and tangible projects like building bridges and roads. Implementing these projects stimulates the economy and increases profit for the business and household income, leading to higher tax revenue for the government.

Another example of induced spending for the government is transfer payments like unemployment benefits. These benefits depend on income, but in the opposite direction. For instance, employment benefits may increase during an economic recession. Conversely, the benefits decrease when the economy grows. Some recurring government expenditures are autonomous expenditures. For instance, the government pays the salary of its employees irrespective of the economic situation.

Related: Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in Government

Net exports

When determining induced customer expenditure for net exports, consider that only imports comprise this category and exports are autonomous because they don't depend on domestic economic growth. Imports have an essential inducible component because supply comes from imports and the domestic economy to meet the other sectors' expenditure. Where the domestic supply is inadequate, it leads to an increase in imports. Because of this, increased imports undermine income and reduce net exports if other factors remain constant.

Related: What Is the Net Exports Formula? (And What Its Results Mean)

Induced customer expenditure formula

Economists use a simple formula to represent the relationship between autonomous, aggregate, and induced expenditure. In a linear equation, you can use this formula to show aggregate expenditure:

AE = a + bY

Here's what each formula element means:

  • AE: aggregate expenditure

  • a: intercept representing an autonomous expenditure

  • b: slope, representing marginal propensity to consume

  • bY: induced expenditure

  • Y: national or disposable income

Related: How to Use the Cross-Price Elasticity Formula (With Example)

The relationship between induced customer expenditure and multiplier effect

The increase in induced customer expenditure creates a multiplier for the economy. For instance, an increase in real income leads to a corresponding increase in disposable income, which encourages more consumption of goods and services. An increase in real income indicates a growing economy. Organizations respond to this growth by increasing production and creating more jobs and income in the economy. Higher-income and employment prospects also encourage more consumption of goods and services, leading to higher demand. Companies also produce more goods and jobs to match the current demand, which increases real income.

Such situations continue and create a multiplier effect on the economy. The multiplier size depends on the economy's marginal propensity to consume (MPC). Also, the MPC highlights how much extra consumption is due to increased disposable income. This formula demonstrates that a higher MPC causes a more significant multiplier effect. In addition, this formula assumes that there's no change in import and income taxes. Economists represent the multiplier mathematically as:

Multiplier = 1 / (1 - MPC)

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Marginals that affect induced customer expenditure

Induced customer expenditure arises because income affects the four macroeconomic sectors. These sectors also have corresponding marginals reflecting the respective changes. The marginals measure the slope of the underlying line in a graph and the change in spending divided by the change in income. The four marginals affecting induced customer expenditure include:

Marginal propensity to consume (MPC)

The marginal propensity to consume refers to the change in consumption due to a change in income. The MPC indicates the proportion of extra household income allocated to consumption. This marginal measure is the slope of the consumption line and is relevant to the slope of the aggregate expenditure line. It also affects the multiplier's magnitude.

Related: What Is the Marginal Propensity to Consume? (With Formulas)

Marginal propensity to invest (MPI)

Investments are also aggregate expenditures affected by real income, and you can represent it with a related marginal. The marginal propensity to invest refers to the change in investment caused by a change in income. Although the induced change in investment is lower than the induced change in consumption, it affects the multiplier's size and the aggregate expenditures line on the graph.

Related: How to Calculate Marginal Utility (With Tips and FAQs)

The marginal propensity for government purchases (MPG)

The marginal propensity for government purchases (MPG) refers to the change in government expenditure due to changes in income. These changes result from changes in taxable ventures and an increase in tax collections. Like the MPI, the changes induced by the MPG are smaller than the MPC.

Marginal propensity to import (MPM)

The marginal for net exports excludes exports and focuses only on imports. The marginal propensity to import (MPM) refers to the changes in imports induced by changes in income. This relationship implies that consumers typically use a part of consumption expenditures to purchase imported goods reflected in the MPM.

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