Supply and Demand

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Laws of
Supply and Demand

The market price of a good is determined by both the supply and demand for it. In the world today supply and demand is perhaps one of the most fundamental principles that exists for economics and the backbone of a market economy. Supply is represented by how much the market can offer. The quantity supplied refers to the amount of a certain good that producers are willing to supply for a certain demand price. What determines this interconnection is how much of a good or service is supplied to the market or otherwise known as the supply relationship or supply schedule which is graphically represented by the supply curve. In demand the schedule is depicted graphically as the demand curve which represents the amount of goods that buyers are willing and able to purchase at various prices, assuming all other non-price factors remain the same. The demand curve is almost always represented as downwards-sloping, meaning that as price decreases, consumers will buy more of the good. Just as the supply curves reflect marginal cost curves, demand curves can be described as marginal utility curves. The main determinants of individual demand are the price of the good, level of income, personal tastes, the population, government policies, the price of substitute goods, and the price of complementary goods.

When a suppliers' costs changes for a given output, the supply curve shifts in the same direction. For example, assume that someone invents a better way of growing corn so that the cost of corn that can be grown for a given quantity will decrease. Basically producers will be willing to supply more corn at every price and this shifts the supply curve outward, an increase in supply. This increase in supply will cause the equilibrium price to decrease. The equilibrium quantity increases as the quantity demanded increases at the new lower prices. This causes the price and the quantity move in opposite directions in a supply curve shift. Also, if the quantity supplied decreases at any given price the opposite will happen. A sudden increase or decrease in the supply of a particular good is also known as a supply shock. A supply shock is an event that suddenly changes the price of a product or service. This sudden change affects the equilibrium price. The two types of supply shocks that exist are the Negative Supply shock and the Positive Supply shock. A negative supply shock, which is a sudden supply decrease, will raise the prices and shift the aggregate supply curve to the left. A negative supply shock can cause stagflation due to the combination of raising prices and the falling output. Meanwhile a positive supply shock, an increase in supply, will lower the price of a good and shift the aggregate supply curve to the right. A positive supply shock could be advancement in technology which most certainly makes production more efficient which thus increases output. For example a positive supply shock could be shown in the early 1990s when communication and information technology exploded which resulted directly in productivity increase, and an example of a negative supply shock would be that of the high oil prices associated with Arab oil embargo of the early 70s is the classic example of this occurrence. Any other factor could also produce this effect. Such as if the sudden doubling of the Federal minimum wage and all being equal could cause a supply shock. Occasionally, supply curves do slope upwards, for example the backward bending supply curve of labor. As a worker’s wage increases, that worker is willing to supply a greater amount of labor since the higher wage increases the marginal utility of working. The backwards bending supply curve has also been observed in non-labor markets such as the market for oil. During the 1973 oil crisis many oil-exporting countries decreased their production of oil. Also in some cases the supply curve can be vertical. Which represents that the...
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