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The word “equilibrium” means “balance.” If a market is at its equilibrium price and quantity, then it has no reason to move away from that point. However, if a market is not at equilibrium, then economic pressures arise to move the market toward the equilibrium price and the equilibrium quantity.

Imagine, for example, that the price of a gallon of gasoline was above the equilibrium price—that is, instead of $1.40 per gallon, the price is $1.80 per gallon. This above-equilibrium price is illustrated by the dashed horizontal line at the price of $1.80 in [link] . At this higher price, the quantity demanded drops from 600 to 500. This decline in quantity reflects how consumers react to the higher price by finding ways to use less gasoline.

Moreover, at this higher price of $1.80, the quantity of gasoline supplied rises from the 600 to 680, as the higher price makes it more profitable for gasoline producers to expand their output. Now, consider how quantity demanded and quantity supplied are related at this above-equilibrium price. Quantity demanded has fallen to 500 gallons, while quantity supplied has risen to 680 gallons. In fact, at any above-equilibrium price, the quantity supplied exceeds the quantity demanded. We call this an excess supply    or a surplus    .

With a surplus, gasoline accumulates at gas stations, in tanker trucks, in pipelines, and at oil refineries. This accumulation puts pressure on gasoline sellers. If a surplus remains unsold, those firms involved in making and selling gasoline are not receiving enough cash to pay their workers and to cover their expenses. In this situation, some producers and sellers will want to cut prices, because it is better to sell at a lower price than not to sell at all. Once some sellers start cutting prices, others will follow to avoid losing sales. These price reductions in turn will stimulate a higher quantity demanded. So, if the price is above the equilibrium level, incentives built into the structure of demand and supply will create pressures for the price to fall toward the equilibrium.

Now suppose that the price is below its equilibrium level at $1.20 per gallon, as the dashed horizontal line at this price in [link] shows. At this lower price, the quantity demanded increases from 600 to 700 as drivers take longer trips, spend more minutes warming up the car in the driveway in wintertime, stop sharing rides to work, and buy larger cars that get fewer miles to the gallon. However, the below-equilibrium price reduces gasoline producers’ incentives to produce and sell gasoline, and the quantity supplied falls from 600 to 550.

When the price is below equilibrium, there is excess demand    , or a shortage    —that is, at the given price the quantity demanded, which has been stimulated by the lower price, now exceeds the quantity supplied, which had been depressed by the lower price. In this situation, eager gasoline buyers mob the gas stations, only to find many stations running short of fuel. Oil companies and gas stations recognize that they have an opportunity to make higher profits by selling what gasoline they have at a higher price. As a result, the price rises toward the equilibrium level. Read Demand, Supply, and Efficiency for more discussion on the importance of the demand and supply model.

Key concepts and summary

A demand schedule is a table that shows the quantity demanded at different prices in the market. A demand curve shows the relationship between quantity demanded and price in a given market on a graph. The law of demand states that a higher price typically leads to a lower quantity demanded.

A supply schedule is a table that shows the quantity supplied at different prices in the market. A supply curve shows the relationship between quantity supplied and price on a graph. The law of supply says that a higher price typically leads to a higher quantity supplied.

The equilibrium price and equilibrium quantity occur where the supply and demand curves cross. The equilibrium occurs where the quantity demanded is equal to the quantity supplied. If the price is below the equilibrium level, then the quantity demanded will exceed the quantity supplied. Excess demand or a shortage will exist. If the price is above the equilibrium level, then the quantity supplied will exceed the quantity demanded. Excess supply or a surplus will exist. In either case, economic pressures will push the price toward the equilibrium level.

Problems

Review [link] again. Suppose the price of gasoline is $1.00. Will the quantity demanded be lower or higher than at the equilibrium price of $1.40 per gallon? Will the quantity supplied be lower or higher? Is there a shortage or a surplus in the market? If so, of how much?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

References

Costanza, Robert, and Lisa Wainger. “No Accounting For Nature: How Conventional Economics Distorts the Value of Things.” The Washington Post . September 2, 1990.

European Commission: Agriculture and Rural Development. 2013. "Overview of the CAP Reform: 2014-2024." Accessed April 13, 205. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013/.

Radford, R. A. “The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp.” Economica . no. 48 (1945): 189-201. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2550133.

Questions & Answers

what is supply?
Prathana Reply
The supply imples the quantity of commodities offer for sale at a particular price during a given period of time . thus, supply is express in term of price and time.
Shashanka
thank you❤
Prathana
the store among other goods sells 200 kilograms of apple at a price of 15 per kilogram increase revenue. How much will the volume of demand changed?
Chinonso Reply
what is micro economic
Ahmar Reply
Microeconomics is that branch of economics which studies how small economic units like a consumer, a household,a firm or an industry do their economic activities n reach equillibrum states .It also studies how prices of commodities n factors are determined so is also called price theory
Arooja
I agree
Tom
Microeconomics is the study of particular markets, and segments of the economy. It looks at issues such as consumer behaviour, individual labour markets, and the theory of firms.
khatoon
Demand and supply is what determines the price level in a market
Edem Reply
Meaning the higher the price increases, the lower the demand buyers place on the commodities and the lower the price, the higher the demand buyers place on the commodities.
Edem
The equilibrium determines the level of prices in the market and this equilibrium is established when demand and supply curves intersect.
khatoon
price of a hamburger rises demand for fish rises illustrate with appropriate curve and explain
Vashity Reply
An economy exprerience inflation when?
Odirile Reply
given a table of weeks worked and numbers of goods produced per week. help to culculate margin.
Odirile
there is a persistent rise in general prices and purchasing power of money decreses
khatoon
An economy experience inflation when prices if commodities rises than expected
Edem
The taste of preferences of consumers will drive demand
Marisol Reply
yep other things being equal ,demand for those goods will increase for which consumer develops tastes n preferences. contrary to it ,if the tastes n preferences are developed against the commodity its demand will decrease .suppose in an area people develop a taste for tea ,so its demand will go up
Arooja
n vice versa . Marisol are u stasfied with my answer.
Arooja
Explanation about law of demand
Marisol Reply
The price of the good or service meaning?
Marisol
What is consumer expectation?
Marisol
Any other explanation?
Marisol
marisol u share your explaination pls
OK
The law of demand states that all other things being equal the higher the price of a commodity the lower the quantity of the same commodity demanded inversely. This implies that anytime there is an increment on a price of certain commodity the demand of the same commodity decline.
Nana
consumer expectations are the households view point regarding the market changes. If people are expecting a positive change in the market their Marginal Propensity to Consume will increase and vive versa.
arshad
Marisol are you okay with my explanation?
Nana
yes. thankyou.
Marisol
welcome
Nana
The law of demand simply means that, at a each price of a commodity, the quantities to be purchased rises or decline while other determinants of price are held constant taking into consideration only "Price and the commodities"
Edem
what are the determinants of demand and explain each?
Marisol Reply
what is the price of the good or services meaning?
Marisol
marzi tumhari
Aryan
lol
Aryan
khud par le
Aryan
hahahah
Ahmar
commodities own price,price of related goods (substitutes ,complements),consumers income ,tastes n preferences,expectations...population size n distribution of income are augmented while concerning marked demand.
Arooja
market demand
Arooja
Define microeconomics and macroeconomics..
Odirile Reply
In free market economy who market resources?
Odirile
Can you please explain how GDP is calculated?
Odirile
yes GDP meas all product produced in Economy first the country have to calculate all goods produced then we have to see the market value of goods at final stage we have to mutliple final goods to their market price we get GDP
Wani
what is consumer expectation?
Marisol
suppose country are producing 10 goods price of per good is $1 therefore GDP = 10 good × $1 =$ 10
Wani
Thank you for the answers @Wani
Odirile
most welcome odirile
Wani
what is micro and macro economic
Ahmar
Microeconomics is a science that which examines how people choose among alternatives available. Macroeconomics is a branch that focuses on impact of the aggregate economy.
Tom
Microeconomics studies individuals and business decisions, while macroeconomics analyzes the decisions made by countries and governments.
khatoon
what is the price of the good or service?
Marisol Reply
suppose price of per good is (ice-cream) is 5 the consumer are ready for buying 2 goods(2 ice creams) if price will increase from 5 to 10 per good then the consumer will demand only one good or one ice-cream because price is increased and his income is limited
Wani
what is income buyer?
Marisol
in law of demand we assume some factors constant some factors are income taste future preference constant
Wani
what is price of related goods or services?
Marisol
suppose your income per month is 10, 000 and your needs satisfied by these 10,000 if price of good will increase you need more than 10,000 to satisfy your needs that is why we says at higher price demand of goods decrease
Wani
What is the taste of preferences of consumers will drive demand?
Marisol
suppose you are eating pizza and u fell its taste good you will buy more pizza this called taste we assume in law of demand that taste of goods remain Same
Wani
related goods are either complementary goods are substitute goods
Wani
what is Consumer expectation?
Marisol
relationship between price and quantity? about the law of demand
Marisol Reply
P⬆️ Qd⬇️
DNA
what is law of demand?
Marisol
If Prince increases, Quantity demand will decrease and vice versa. So relationship b/w price and demand is inverse. There are some exceptions also. Like complementary goods and substitute goods.
DNA
any other answers? thankyou anyways. Twas a big help.
Marisol
the law of demand states that, "conditional on all else being equal, as the price of a good increases, quantity demanded decreases; conversely, as the price of a good decreases, quantity demanded increases".
DNA
law of demand says when price of good increase there demand will decrease and vice versa in short law of demand show negative relationship between price and demand of goods
Wani
All other factors like income, taste, preference, season shall remain constant
DNA
Rohi g Bilkul sahi farmov veh!
DNA
law of demand not apply on Griffen goods and luxurious goods
Wani
sir will u plz explain me why we add Griffen goods in aggregate demand no body explain me this question
Wani
definition of monopoly
Odirile
monopoly is a form of market where there is only one supplier , supplying the product . in other words monopoly means only one industry or enterprise are selling the product
Wani
what is monopolistic
Odirile
what are the determinants of demand and explain each?
Marisol
monopolistic competition is a form of market where there are many sellers selling differentiated product
Wani
bravo
Aryan
answer
Aryan
determinants of demand are 1.income :- if income of a person increase its demand for products will increase 2 . price :- if price of product increase there demand will decrease and vice versa 3. taste :- if buyer feels taste of product good then his demand for that product will increase
Wani
there are 5 determinants of demand?
Marisol
yes another one is if there customer are more in Economy more good will be demand
Wani
and what is the last one? I mean the fifth one?
Marisol
the other one is related goods related goods are either substitute goods are complementary goods if goods are substitute then if price of good will increase then demand for its substitute will increase
Wani
thankyou ❤️
Marisol
What is the concept of rationality in economics
Odirile Reply
Remuneration 10000 Net trade surplus 8000 Provision for depreciation 500 Indirect taxation 700 subsides 1000 Net factor payments 500 using information above calculate: 1GDP at factor cost 2GDP at market Price 3GNP at market price 4National income
Odirile
rationality simply means that you will always go for best choice in the available set of choice.
Rahul
which actions would most likely shift the production possibilities frontier outwards?
Odirile
what is consumer expectation in economics?
Marisol
the factory that cause shift to PPC are labour force, price of inputs. use of technology etc.
Wani
Marisol where from you
Wani
thankyou for the answers.
Marisol
From the Philippines Sir.
Marisol
most welcome marisol
Wani
a. Assume that Good X is a Giffen good, illustrate and explain the income and substitution effects for a decrease in the price of good X.
Thulisa Reply
as price of good X(assume as Griffen good) decrease income of the consumer increase , consumer will demand other goods rather than the Griffen goods thus at lower prices of good X it's demand will decrease.
Wani
what is law of demand
Hugo Reply
what is the law of demand
Hugo
What is the law of demand
Hugo
just considering the relationship between price and quantity, holding other factors constant.
Donation
when the price of a commodity increases, it's demand will decrease. and when the price of a commodity decreases, it's demand will increase, other things remaining the same or constant. That is called Law of Demand.
Azka
other things remained constant there is inverse relationship between price and quantity demand i .e when price of a commodity increased the demand of quantity will decrease and vice- versa.
khatoon
right @KhatoonNafisa
Azka
Other answers about the law of demand and how it relates between the price and quantity?
Marisol

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Source:  OpenStax, Microeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11627/1.10
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