Understanding the behavior of lower-income households is critical in designing policies aimed at improving their well-being and reducing poverty. Bread is cheap, and priced at €4, and lamb which is much more expensive is priced at €60 per unit. We will use demand curves to explain the difference between normal goods and Giffen goods.

One of the classic examples of a Giffen good is an inferior-quality staple food like wheat, which is consumed by individuals in poverty and constitutes a significant portion of their income. As the price of the cheap staple food increases, consumers can no longer afford to supplement their diets with better foodstuffs, leading to an increase in the demand for the staple food. In his textbook Principles of Economics, economist Alfred Marshall described Robert Giffen’s work in the context of bread rising in price because people lacked the income to buy meat. Randomly selected households in both provinces were given vouchers that subsidized the purchase of their respective staple foods. This must be a particular good that is such a large proportion of a person or market’s consumption that the income effect of a price enhance would produce, effectively, more demand. The noticed demand curve would slope upward, indicating optimistic elasticity.

Empirical evidence

It is against the fundamental principles of supply and demand when the demand for Giffen goods rises due to a decrease in supply. As the price of wheat flour increases, consumers may have to reduce their consumption of other goods to afford the staple, and as a result, demand for wheat flour may increase. As the price of rice increases, consumers may have to reduce their consumption of other goods in order to afford the staple grain, and as a result, demand for rice may increase. When the price is increased to $20, the quantity demanded decreases to 100 units. Veblen goods also have an upward sloping demand curve, but with notable differences in the influences. The income effect might be significant in the case of such goods, while the substitution effect is equally significant.

Therefore, Giffen commodities are frequently necessary, incorporating income and higher price replacement effects. Giffen products are comparable to Veblen goods, which challenge conventional economic and consumer demand theory while focusing on luxury goods. A Giffen good is a non-luxury, low-cost item that defies standard economic and consumer demand assumptions. When the price of such goods goes up, demand goes up, and when it goes down, the market goes down. The original example of a Giffen good was potatoes during the Irish potato famine of the 19th century.

Historically, there have been instances where certain food items, such as coarse grains (like millets) and even rice in some regions, were considered potential Giffen goods. However, as India’s economy has grown and diversified, these conditions have become less prevalent. This means that at the higher price of €5 for bread, 40 units of bread can be purchased (an increase from 35 units). As we noted, the demand for rice rose from 40 kg to 43 kg despite its increase in price. These goods are commonly essentials with few near-dimensional substitutes at the same price levels. The price effect is Q1Q3 is shown by the movement of point A1 to point A3, as shown in the diagram.

A optimistic revenue elasticity of demand implies that income and demand transfer in the identical path—a rise in income increases demand, and a reduction in revenue reduces demand. As we discovered, a good whose demand rises as revenue rises known as a traditional good. A caveat to the desk above is that not all goods are strictly normal or inferior across all revenue levels. For example, average used automobiles might have a positive earnings elasticity of demand at low earnings levels – extra revenue could possibly be funneled into changing public transportation with self-commuting.

Since Giffen goods are essential, consumers are willing to pay more for them but this also limits disposable income which makes buying slightly higher options even more out of reach. Overall, both the income and substitution effects are at work to create unconventional supply and demand results. Giffen goods are a rarity in economics because supply and demand for these goods are opposite of standard conventions. Giffen goods can be the result of multiple market variables including supply, demand, price, income, and substitution.

The demand for these items is increasing, which is reflected in their increased sales. A few examples include sports cars, diamond rings, and haute couture clothing. The demand curve for Veblen goods has an upward slope, and it is affected by a variety of factors. Giffen goods are low-priced products with increasing demand as their price increases. The high price of these goods is seen as an indication of great social status. In contrast to the “first law of demand,” prices for Giffen commodities decrease in lockstep with demand.

Indifference curve analysis and Giffen Goods

The existence of these goods challenges some of the fundamental assumptions in economics and provides valuable insights into consumer behavior and market dynamics. Giffen goods challenge conventional economic theory, which states that as the price of a good increases, the quantity demanded decreases. This challenge highlights the need for a more nuanced understanding of consumer behavior and the role that income and other factors play in shaping demand. If a price change modifies consumers’ perception of the good, they should be analysed as Veblen goods.

What are Veblen and Giffen goods?

The good must either have a lack of close substitutes or the substitute good must have a higher cost than the good. Even if there is an increase in the price of the goods, the current good should still be an attractive option for the consumer. In other words, the substitution effect created by the increase in the price of that goods must be smaller than the income effect created by the increased cost requirement.

Giffen goods are increasingly rare in modern economies, including India, due to economic development, increased consumer choices, and reduced income disparities. Agricultural reforms, the Green Revolution, and increased incomes have led to a wider variety of food choices, reducing the likelihood of Giffen goods in the food category. Furthermore, the income effect in India tends to dominate https://1investing.in/ the substitution effect, leading to a more typical demand response to price changes. Despite the scarcity of real-world examples and ongoing debates, their theoretical importance in modern economics is still significant. Studying Giffen goods helps economists and policymakers understand the complexities of consumer behavior and the potential exceptions to the Law of Demand.


Substitution Effect (SE) is Q1Q2 as shown by movement along IC1 from point A1 to A2. Income Effect (IE) is Q2Q3, which is shown by the shift of consumers from point A2 at IC1 to point A3 at a higher Indifference Curve, which is IC2. Giffen goods provide insight into the behavior of lower-income households and their consumption patterns.

When the costs of Giffen products rise, customers have no choice but to spend more money on them. As a result, people may spend more money on rice since it is the only thing they can afford—even if the price continues to rise. The main difference between Giffen and classic inferior goods is that demand for the former grows even when prices rise, regardless of a consumer’s income.

Paul Boyce is an economics editor with over 10 years experience in the industry. Currently working as a consultant within the financial services sector, Paul is the CEO and chief editor of BoyceWire. Other proposed examples, such as kerosene and gasoline, lack sufficient evidence to support their classification as Giffen goods. Follow Legaltree for the latest updates, news blogs, and articles related to micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), business tips, income tax, GST, salary, and accounting.

All these variables are used in the primary supply and demand economics theories. For example, a Giffen good is a low-cost, non-luxury item whose demand rises in lockstep with its price, and vice versa. In economics, this results in an upward-sloping demand curve, whereas the fundamental laws of demand result in a downward-sloping demand curve. Giffen Goods has been defined as a non-luxury product for which demand increases as the price increases and vice versa, thus defying standard laws of demand. Giffen goods are rare types of inferior goods that have a paradoxical relationship between price and demand. Typically, when the price of a good increases, the demand for that good decreases.

What is the demand curve for Giffen?

Income can slightly mitigate these results, flattening curves since more personal income can result in different behaviors. Since there are typically substitutes for most goods, the substitution effect helps strengthen the case for standard supply and demand. A Giffen good, a concept commonly used in economics, refers to a goods that people consume more of as the price rises. Therefore, a Giffen goods shows an upward-sloping demand curve and violates the fundamental law of demand.

In economics, the term ‘items’ is defined as a commodity that satisfies human desires, i.e. something which offers utility to consumers. This makes it troublesome to distinguish inferior public goods from regular ones. In economics, an inferior good is an efficient that decreases in demand when the revenue of the consumer rises. People with little revenue would possibly purchase bread in the grocery store, but when their earnings will increase, they purchase their bread in the bakery as a substitute. They did not buy from the bakery before, as a result of the bread within the bakery is more expensive than the bread within the grocery store.

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