Economics Online Tutor
Why are some items that are for sale relatively inexpensive, and others
cost so much that you wouldn't ever think about buying them?
Why does your neighborhood have the types of businesses that it has,
and not others? Why are the store shelves for some items empty at times,
and seemingly overflowing at other times?
Why are some types of businesses forced to compete with many others,
while other types of businesses are free to operate with little or no
Why do some businesses thrive while others are shutting down? Why do
The answers to these and many other common questions are based on
supply and demand.
It has been said many times that the study of economics is the same thing
as the study of supply & demand. If you understand supply & demand,
the saying goes, then you understand economics. Indeed, all topics
studied in economics classes are related very closely to supply &
demand. And it is true that the study of all other economics topics builds
on the concepts of supply & demand.
An understanding of supply & demand is essential to an understanding of
everything that is related to the study of economics. If you have difficulty
with any topic in economics, it is likely that a more thorough
understanding of supply & demand will solve that problem. A lack of a
thorough understanding of supply & demand can cause misconceptions
later on in your studies.
In short, this section is probably the most important section in the entire
study of economics. You will want to understand what is in this section
before trying to master the other topics in economics.
This section is organized as one long discussion, starting with demand,
then supply, then a discussion of equilibrium as it relates to supply &
demand. Along the way, there are pages with topics more specific than
just supply & demand in general. You can read it in its entirety by starting
here, and continuing to the ensuing pages in order. Or you can use the
links in the left-hand column of this page to jump to a specific area.
DEMAND AND SUPPLY
THE USE OF GRAPHS
AS IMPORTANT TOOLS
THERE ARE NO
GRAPHS INCLUDED IN
THIS SECTION. FOR
AN EXPLANATION WHY
GRAPHS ARE NOT
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