How many times have you thought that you would like

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Unformatted text preview: have for goods and services. How many times have you thought that you would like something “if only you could afford it” or “if it weren’t so expensive”? Scarcity guarantees that many—perhaps most—of our wants will never be satisfied. Demand reflects a decision about which wants to satisfy. The quantity demanded of a good or service is the amount that consumers plan to buy during a given time period at a particular price. The quantity demanded is not necessarily the same as the quantity actually bought. Sometimes the quantity demanded exceeds the amount of goods available, so the quantity bought is less than the quantity demanded. The quantity demanded is measured as an amount per unit of time. For example, suppose that you buy one cup of coffee a day. The quantity of coffee that you demand can be expressed as 1 cup per day, 7 cups per week, or 365 cups per year. Many factors influence buying plans, and one of them is the price. We look first at the relationship between the quantity demanded of a good and its price. To study this relationship, we keep all other influences on buying plans the same and we ask: How, other things remaining the same, does the quantity demanded of a good change as its price changes? The law of demand provides the answer. The Law of Demand The law of demand states Other things remaining the same, the higher the price of a good, the smaller is the quantity demanded; and the lower the price of a good, the greater is the quantity demanded. Why does a higher price reduce the quantity demanded? For two reasons: ■ ■ Substitution effect Income effect 55 Substitution Effect When the price of a good rises, other things remaining the same, its relative price— its opportunity cost—rises. Although each good is unique, it has substitutes—other goods that can be used in its place. As the opportunity cost of a good rises, the incentive to economize on its use and switch to a substitute becomes stronger. Income Effect When a price rises, other thin...
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course ECON 251 taught by Professor Blanchard during the Spring '08 term at Purdue.

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