Chap029 - Chapter 29 - Aggregate Demand and Aggregate...

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Chapter 29 - Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply Chapter 29 Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply QUESTIONS 1. Why is the aggregate demand curve downsloping? Specify how your explanation differs from the explanation for the downsloping demand curve for a single product. What role does the multiplier play in shifts of the aggregate demand curve? LO1 Answer: The aggregate demand (AD) curve shows that as the price level drops, purchases of real domestic output increase. The AD curve slopes downward for three reasons. The first is the interest-rate effect. We assume the supply of money to be fixed. When the price level increases, more money is needed to make purchases and pay for inputs. With the money supply fixed, the increased demand for it will drive up its price, the rate of interest. These higher rates will decrease the buying of goods with borrowed money, thus decreasing the amount of real output demanded. The second reason is the real balances effect. As the price level rises, the real value—the purchasing power—of money and other accumulated financial assets (bonds, for instance) will decrease. People will therefore become poorer in real terms and decrease the quantity demanded of real output. The third reason is the foreign purchases effect. As the United States’ price level rises relative to other countries, Americans will buy more abroad in preference to their own output. At the same time foreigners, finding American goods and services relatively more expensive, will decrease their buying of American exports. Thus, with increased imports and decreased exports, American net exports decrease and so, therefore, does the quantity demanded of American real output. These reasons for the downsloping AD curve have nothing to do with the reasons for the downsloping single-product demand curve. In the case of the dropping price of a single product, the consumer with a constant money income substitutes more of the now relatively cheaper product for those whose prices have not changed. Also, the consumer has become richer in real terms, because of the lower price of the one product, and can buy more of it and all other products. But with the AD curve, moving down the curve means all prices are dropping—the price level is dropping. Therefore, the single-product substitution effect does not apply. Also, whereas when dealing with the demand for a single product the consumer’s income is assumed to be fixed, the AD curve specifically excludes this assumption. Movement down the AD curve indicates lower prices but, with regard to the circular flow of economic activity, it also indicates lower incomes. If prices are dropping, so must the receipts or revenues or incomes of the sellers. Thus, a decline in the price level does not necessarily imply an increase in the nominal income of the economy as a whole.
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