The Demand Schedule and the Demand Curve
is a table showing how much of a good or service consumers
will want to buy at different prices. At the right of Figure 3-1, we show a hypotheti-
cal demand schedule for tickets to a hockey game.
According to the table, if scalped tickets are available at $100 each (roughly
their face value), 20,000 people are willing to buy them; at $150, some fans will
decide this price is too high, and only 15,000 are willing to buy. At $200, even
fewer people want tickets, and so on. So the higher the price, the fewer the tick-
ets people want to purchase. In other words, as the price rises, the quantity of tick-
ets demanded falls.
The graph in Figure 3-1 is a visual representation of the information in the table.
The vertical axis shows the price of a ticket, and the horizontal axis shows the
quantity of tickets. Each point on the graph corresponds to one of the entries in
the table. The curve that connects these points is a
A demand curve is a graphical representation of the demand schedule, another
way of showing how much of a good or service consumers want to buy at any
Suppose scalpers are charging $250 per ticket. We can see from Figure 3-1 that
8,000 fans are willing to pay that price; that is, 8,000 is the
a price of $250.
Note that the demand curve shown in Figure 3-1 slopes downward. This
reflects the general proposition that a higher price reduces the number of people
willing to buy a good. In this case, many people who would lay out $100 to see
the great Gretzky aren’t willing to pay $350. In the real world, demand curves
almost always, with some very specific exceptions,
slope downward. The excep-
tions are goods called “Giffen goods,” but economists think these are so rare that
for practical purposes we can ignore them. Generally, the proposition that a
SECTION 1: THE DEMAND CURVE
shows how much