Impact of change in income
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Impact of Change in Income. Here we want to consider the change consumers will make if they experience a change in income. change in income.

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Impact of Change in Income

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Impact of change in income

Impact of Change in Income

Here we want to consider the change consumers will make if they experience a change in income.


Change in income

change in income.

Note that the budget line is a summary of the baskets of goods that a consumer can buy. The consumer ultimately picks the basket that is able to be purchased and gives the individual the most satisfaction or happiness.

For the next few slides let’s just think about the budget line and not about consumer utility maximization.


Change in income budget change

change in income - budget change

y

Remember on the budget line we are measuring the amount of x and y the consumer can buy given their income and given the fact that prices must be paid.

y1

x

x1

I have illustrated one basket the consumer can buy. With the price of x = Px and the price of y = Py the consumer here could buy x1, y1.


Impact of change in income

change in income - budget change

y

There are many ways to think about how the budget line would change given an income change, but one way to think about it would be to pick a given amount of x, say x1. Before the income

y2

y1

x

x1

change say that once x1 is bought that leaves only y1 of y. Now if there is an income increase, after x1 is bought that would leave more money to spend on y and thus y2 could be bought.


Change in income budget change1

change in income - budget change

From the previous screen we can see more y can be bought if there is more income available, but how much more depends on the prices of x and y and it depends on the income change.

But, as income rises more y can be bought, given an amount of x is bought. Thus the budget line shifts out in a parallel fashion if income grows and by a similar logic shifts in parallel if there is an income decline.


Change in income optimal point change

change in income - optimal point change

Now that we know how the budget changes given an income change, let’s see how the consumer optimum changes(given that taste and preferences do not change).


Impact of change in income

change in income - optimal point change

y

Say the consumer starts out at point a - x1, y1 gives maximum satisfaction. Note I have extended a line above point x1.

Now with more income the budget line shifts out. The consumer will end up either

y1

a

x

x1

to the right or the left of the dashed line. If the consumer ends up to the right, more x is wanted with more income. If the consumer ends up to the left of the dashed line then less x is wanted when more income is obtained.


Change in income optimal point change1

change in income - optimal point change

A normal good is one where that as the consumer gets more income more of the product is demanded (or less income means less of the good is demanded).

An inferior good is one where as the consumer gets more income less of the product is demanded (or less income means more of the good is demanded).


Impact of change in income

Income consumption path

y

y1

a

x

x1 x2

When we look at several consumer optimum points at various levels of income and then trace out the points with a line we get the income consumption path. Here both goods are normal goods. Would the income consumption path be downward sloping if only one of the goods were inferior?


Impact of change in income

Engel curve - normal good

y

x

x2

x1

y1

a

x

income

I1 I2

x1 x2

In the right hand picture we can see an income increase and from the left graph we take the new x, x2, and draw it in with the new income level. The Engel curve for a normal good is upward sloping. What about for an inferior good?


Impact of change in income

Note that the second graph on the previous slide had income on the horizontal axis and the quantity of x on the vertical. This is different than most graphs you have probably seen in econ.

Mrs. Engel’s boy thought this idea up – to study how changes in income change our consumption patterns.


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