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What is the 'Law Of Supply'

The law of supply is the microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, the quantity of goods or services that suppliers offer will increase, and vice versa. The law of supply says that as the price of an item goes up, suppliers will attempt to maximize their profits by increasing the quantity offered for sale.


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


Law Of Supply

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

-When college students learn computer engineering jobs pay more than English professor jobs, the supply of students with majors in computer engineering will increase.

-When consumers start paying more for cupcakes than for donuts, bakeries will increase their output of cupcakes and reduce their output of donuts in order to increase their profits.

-When your employer pays time and a half for overtime, the number of hours you are willing to supply for work increases.

The law of supply summarizes the effect price changes have on producer behavior. For example, a business will make more video game systems if the price of those systems increases. The opposite is true if the price of video game systems decreases. The company might supply 1,000,000 systems if the price is $200 each, but if the price increases to $300, they might supply 1,500,000 systems.

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


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