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The Demand Curves for Giffen Goods Are Downward Sloping

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  • Barzel, Yoram
  • Suen, Wing

Abstract

Consumers' optimal consumption strategy in anticipation of price variations is to equalize the marginal utility of income across different price regimes. Since the marginal utility of income is positively related to the price of a Giffen good, consumers will adopt a consumption plan (through saving and borrowing, insurance, or an appropriate choice of portfolio) that allows them to increase total expenditure when the Giffen good is relatively expensive and to reduce total expenditure when the Giffen good is relatively cheap. Giffen goods being inferior goods, this optimal choice of total expenditures will produce an income effect that reinforces the substitution effect, thus resulting in a downward sloping demand curve. Copyright 1992 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Barzel, Yoram & Suen, Wing, 1992. "The Demand Curves for Giffen Goods Are Downward Sloping," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 896-905, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:102:y:1992:i:413:p:896-905
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Vita, Giuseppe, 2001. "Are the outputs derived from secondary materials giffen goods?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 255-260, December.
    2. Giacomo Corneo & Olivier Jeanne, 1994. "Conspicuous Consumption and the Existence of Upward Sloping Demand Curves," Discussion Paper Serie A 461, University of Bonn, Germany.
    3. Wilfred Amaldoss & Sanjay Jain, 2002. "An Analysis of the Impact of Social Factors on Purchase Behavior," Review of Marketing Science Working Papers 2-1-1021, Berkeley Electronic Press.
    4. Simon GB Cowan & Simon Cowan, 2002. "Marginal Cost Pricing versus Insurance," Economics Series Working Papers 102, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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