Law Of Demand

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What is the 'Law Of Demand'

The law of demand is a microeconomic law that states, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer demand for the good or service will decrease, and vice versa. The law of demand says that the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded, because consumers’ opportunity cost to acquire that good or service increases, and they must make more tradeoffs to acquire the more expensive product.

BREAKING DOWN 'Law Of Demand'

The chart below depicts the law of demand using a demand curve, which is always downward sloping. Each point on the curve (A, B, C) reflects a direct correlation between quantity demanded (Q) and price (P). So, at point A, the quantity demanded will be Q1 and the price will be P1, and so on.

Law Of Demand

The law of demand is so intuitive that you may not even be aware of all the examples around you.

-When shirts go on sale, you might buy three instead of one. The quantity that you demand increases because the price has fallen.

-When plane tickets become more expensive, you’re less likely to travel by air and more likely to choose the less expensive options of driving or staying home. The amount of plane tickets that you demand decreases to zero because the cost has gone up.

The law of demand summarizes the effect price changes have on consumer behavior. For example, a consumer will purchase more pizzas if the price of pizza falls. The opposite is true if the price of pizza increases. John might demand 10 pizzas if they cost $10 each, but only 7 pizzas if the price rises to $12, and only 4 pizzas if the price rises to $20.

The law of demand is one of the most fundamental concepts in economics. It works with the law of supply to explain how market economies allocate resources and determine the prices of goods and services.