Should Governments Try to Influence Population Growth

Topics: Supply and demand, Consumer theory, Price elasticity of demand Pages: 31 (6758 words) Published: March 4, 2012

Demand refers to the quantity of a product that consumers are willing and able to buy at a particular price and over a given period of time. The law of demand states that more is bought at a lower price than at a higher price. In other words, the law of demand postulates an inverse relationship between the price and quantity demanded of a commodity, all other factors affecting demand remain constant (ceteris paribus).

A market demand curve for a certain product is derived from the horizontal summation of all individuals demand curves at each and every price of the quantity demanded. Price ($)Consumer A+Consumer B+Consumer C= market demand 1 20 30 40 90

2 18 26 35 79
3 15 18 2255
4 11 12 1942
5 7 10 1229
Thus, by plotting price against quantity demanded from the market schedule, a downward sloping demand curve from left to right for the entire market is drawn.

Price D




0 Quantity demanded
Q Q1

A fall in the price from OP to OP1 expands the quantity demanded from OQ to OQ1, whilst a rise will do the contrary.

There are indeed several factors which affect the quantity demanded for a certain product. 1. Change in the price of the commodity itself:
Changes in the price of the commodity will lead to changes in quantity demanded. For instance, a rise in the price of good X will lead to a fall in quantity demanded for good X. This is because good X is now more expensive and consumers buy less.

2. Change in real income:
A change in real income means that there is a change in the quantity of goods and services money income can buy. For most goods, an increased in real income will lead to an increase in demand. Goods for which demand increases when income increases are called normal goods. In fact, there exists a direct relationship between income and quantity demanded for normal goods. However, there are some goods for which demand decreases as income increases. These are called inferior good, for example, cheap clothing, cheap foodstuff, black and white TV. Hence, there exists an inverse relationship between income and quantity demanded for inferior goods.

3. Tastes and fashion:
Demand depends on the individual’s taste which is controlled and influenced by advertising and sales promotion. A change in consumer tastes in favour of a good can increase the demand for that commodity. This may be attributed to a successful advertising campaign. Similarly, if a commodity is in fashion, demand will rise.

4. Changes in the prices of complements and substitutes:
Demand for a commodity depends much on the price of its complementary goods. If the price of a complementary good falls, demand for the product will rise. For example, if the price of car falls, demand for petrol will increase. This is because more people will buy cars, and hence, more petrol. Thus, there exists an inverse relationship between demand for a commodity and the price of its complements.

Demand for a commodity is also influenced by changes in the price of its substitutes. If the price of substitutes increases, demand for a commodity will also increase. For example, if the price of tea increases, demand for coffee will also increase. This is because people will buy less tea, and therefore, they will shift to coffee. Thus, there exists a direct relationship between demand for a commodity and the price of its substitutes. 5. Changes in population:

When the size of the total population changes, demand for goods and services would generally change. An increase in total population would generally lead to an increase in...
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