Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet Potato and Demand Curves

One of the most fundamental ideas that I talk about in my economics courses is the idea of consumer demand. In those discussions, I talk about factors (or variables) that shift the demand for a good or service, such as a change in the tastes or preferences for a good or service. Often I am asked for examples of these, and here is a great example of the change in demand (shift in the demand curve) for the sweet potato.

A few years ago, the sweet potato had a very seasonal (Thanksgiving) consumer demand. No longer. This change in consumer demand for sweet potatoes is also changing how much firms (farmers) are planting and harvesting of this highly sought after spud.

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