Demand in economics

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Demand in Economics


What Is the Law of Supply and Demand?
The law of supply and demand is a theory that explains the interaction between the sellers of a resource and the buyers for that resource. The theory defines the relationship between the price of a given good or product and the willingness of people to either buy or sell it. Generally, as price increases, people are willing to supply more and demand less and vice versa when the price falls.
The theory is based on two separate "laws," the law of demand and the law of supply. The two laws interact to determine the actual market price and volume of goods on the market.
Key Takeaways

  • The law of demand says that at higher prices, buyers will demand less of an economic good.

  • The law of supply says that at higher prices, sellers will supply more of an economic good.

  • These two laws interact to determine the actual market prices and volume of goods that are traded on a market.

  • Several independent factors can affect the shape of market supply and demand, influencing both the prices and quantities that we observe in markets.

Law of Supply and Demand
Understanding the Law of Supply and Demand
The law of supply and demand, one of the most basic economic laws, ties into almost all economic principles somehow. In practice, people's willingness to supply and demand a good determines the market equilibrium price or the price where the quantity of the good that people are willing to supply equals the quantity that people demand.
However, multiple factors can affect both supply and demand, causing them to increase or decrease in various ways.
The law of demand states that if all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of a good, the fewer people will demand that good. In other words, the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded. The amount of a good that buyers purchase at a higher price is less because as the price of a good goes up, so does the opportunity cost of buying that good.
As a result, people will naturally avoid buying a product that will force them to forgo the consumption of something else they value more. The chart below shows that the curve is a downward slope.
Like the law of demand, the law of supply demonstrates the quantities sold at a specific price. But unlike the law of demand, the supply relationship shows an upward slope. This means that the higher the price, the higher the quantity supplied. From the seller's perspective, each additional unit's opportunity cost tends to be higher and higher. Producers supply more at a higher price because the higher selling price justifies the higher opportunity cost of each additional unit sold.
It is important for both supply and demand to understand that time is always a dimension on these charts. The quantity demanded or supplied, found along the horizontal axis, is always measured in units of the good over a given time interval. Longer or shorter time intervals can influence the shapes of both the supply and demand curves.

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