Demand Curves Essay

832 words - 3 pages

Missing Graphs and Works Cited

Demand is "the quantity of a commodity that will be required at any given price over some given period of time". "For the majority of the goods and services, experience shows that the quantity demanded will increase as the price falls." (Stanlake 155) This characteristic can be shown by a demand curve. A demand curve is a graphical representation of the data in table with values of demand called a demand schedule. A good that is in greater demand do to income increases is known as a normal good. A inferior good is a good that is in less demand even though the income increases. When this situation occurs the demand curve is positive sloping. A giffen good is a special type of inferior good where demand increases when price increases. The graph below is a sample demand curve, where the demand schedule for the quantity of toilet paper demanded is graphed.

From this graph we can determine how many rolls of toilet paper will be purchased at what price. As can be seen from looking at this graph, it is negatively sloping. As one variable gets larger the other will become smaller, or when the price drops more is purchased. The whole demand curve "theory" is based on human behavior. It is logical to say that people will purchase more of a product when the price is cheaper.

In reality, if the price of a good rises the income (or assets) of the consumer will decrease. The people would not be able to buy the same goods as before because they cost more. Consumers can do two things; if the good is a normal good (previously defined), they would buy less of the good; if the good is an inferior good, they would buy more of the good. Thus, the income effect can be defined in this statement: When the price of a good falls, the expected outcome would be that the consumers would buy more because they have the money and can afford to buy more.

The slope of the demand curve can be explained in terms of the income and substitution effects.

If the price of a good falls consumers would buy more of that good and less of others. If the price of a good rises people would buy less of that good and more of another because the good is more expensive than others. The outcome of these would be a switching of purchases towards the cheaper product. When there is another similar good that is in...

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