By Frederic S. Mishkin
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Additional info for Economics - The Basics
Whether you knew it or not, you have just reached ‘consumer equilibrium’ – where the marginal utility per pound (or MU/£ ) on one item in your shopping list is equal to that for all other items. © 2004 Tony Cleaver move from consumption point x to point q. That is, he or she may choose to consume much more coffee and actually buy less of all other goods. Alternatively at point r there is illustrated the option of buying the same amount or even less coffee and buying more of other things. Point p represents the choice to buy more coffee as its price falls, all other purchases remaining the same.
A change in relative prices between some goods and others or a change in our levels of income will affect our chosen purchases but factoring in these changes we will always adjust our consumption to maximise our total utility or satisfaction. Considering the demand for coffee, we can assume for the purposes of illustration, that an individual divides his purchases between coffee and all other goods. Given constant prices and incomes we can represent the choices available to this consumer in the OPPORTUNITY SET given here.
There is a change in consumer tastes within the coffee market – in favour of more organic, environmentally friendly products – but overall consumption has increased hardly at all, relative to supply. 13 as follows. World demand for coffee is stable and relatively price-inelastic as illustrated by the demand curve shown. World supply is also relatively price-inelastic and is illustrated by supply curve S1. Supply, however, is unstable in that Vietnam’s drive to increase exports and incomes at home has meant increased efforts to plant and produce coffee.
Economics - The Basics by Frederic S. Mishkin