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IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

Answer all the questions

Section A


(This section contains five questions of 10 marks each)

Q.1 Explain the main determinants of demand of a commodity in the market. Distinguish between an Inferior good (commodity) and a Giffen good.

A Giffen good, a concept commonly used in economics, refers to a good that people consume more as the price rises. Therefore, a Giffen good shows an upward-sloping demand curve and violates the fundamental law of demand.

It is important to note that all Giffen goods are inferior goods, but not all inferior goods are Giffen goods.

History of Giffen Good

The term Giffen good was named after Scottish economist Sir Robert Giffen. The term Giffen good was developed by the economist after he noticed, in the poor Victorian era, that the rise in the price of a basic food increased the demand for that particular food.

The Intuition Behind a Giffen Good

The concept of a Giffen good sounds counterintuitive – why would an individual consume more of a good if its price increases?

Consider a poor household with a maximum monthly expenditure on food at $400 and a minimum consumption of grains at 50 kg. The household consumes two goods to meet their grain consumption demand: rice and wheat.

  • Rice is considered an inferior good, is cheaper than its substitutes, and represents a large portion of the household’s spending.
  • Wheat is considered a normal good.

The following illustrates the household’s consumption of rice and wheat:

Consider a scenario where the price of rice increases to $6. In this situation, to maintain its current consumption, the household would need to spend $440:

Therefore, for the household to get its total expenditure to remain at $400 and meet its consumption level of 50 kg, it would need to consume more rice and less wheat to meet its consumption demand:

As we noted, the demand for rice rose from 40 kg to 43 kg despite its increase in price. Therefore, rice is an example of a Giffen good.

Conditions for a Giffen Good

As noted in the example above, there are certain conditions for a Giffen good:

1. The good must be inferior

The good must be an inferior good as its lower comparable costs drive an increased demand to meet consumption needs. In a budget shortage, the consumer will consume more of the inferior goods.

As indicated in the example above, since rice is an inferior good, the household will consume more rice to maintain their household budget of $400.

2. The good must form a large percentage of total consumption

The total amount spent on the good must be large relative to the consumer’s budget. Only in such a scenario will an increase in its price create a significant income effect.

As indicated in the example above, rice represents 80% of the quantity demanded of grains. In addition, rice forms half of the household’s expenditure.

3. There must be a lack of close substitute goods

The good must either have a lack of close substitutes or the substitute good must have a higher cost than the good. Even if there is an increase in the price of the good, the current good should still be an attractive option for the consumer. In other words, the substitution effect created by the increase in the price of that good must be smaller than the income effect created by the increased cost requirement.

As indicated in the preface of the example above, rice is cheaper than its substitutes.

Practical Example of a Giffen Good: Hunan and Gansu

In 2007, Harvard economists Robert Jensen and Nolan Miller conducted an experiment where they studied two provinces in China: Hunan and Gansu. In Hunan, the staple food is rice, whereas in Gansu, the staple food is wheat.

The experiment indicated that:

  • In Hunan, Giffen behavior was exhibited – lowering the price of rice through a subsidy decreased the demand for rice while removing the subsidy increased the demand for rice.
  • In Gansu, Giffen behavior was relatively weaker due to the availability of substitute goods and the fact that households were so poor that they only consumed staple foods.

Q.2 Explain the Law of Supply. Point out its exceptions.

Introduction to the Law of Supply:

The law of supply reflects the general tendency of the sellers in offering their stock of a commodity for sale in relation to the varying prices.

It describes seller’s supply behaviour under given conditions. It has been observed that usually sellers are willing to supply more with a rise in prices. 

The law of supply may be written as follows:

“Other things remaining unchanged, the supply of a commodity rises i.e., expands with a rise in its price and falls i.e., contracts with a fall in its price.

In other-words, it can be said that—”Higher the price higher the supply and lower the price lower the supply.”

The law thus suggests that the supply varies directly with the change in price. So, a larger amount is supplied at a higher price that at a lower price in the market.

Explanation of the Law:

This law can be explained with the help of a supply schedule as well as by a supply curve based on an imaginary figures and data.

This can be shown by diagram as follows:

Quantity of Fountain Pen

Here, in this diagram the supply curve SS is sloping upward. It suggests with the supply schedule, that the market supply tends to expand with the rise in price and vice-versa. Similarly, the upward slopping curve also depicts a direct co-variation between price and supply.

Quantity of Demand

This law can be shown in this way also.

In the figure above OX axis shows quantity of demand and OY axis shows price. SSline is the line of supply when the price of the commodity is OP then quantity of supply is OQ.

When the price rises from OP to OP2 and then supply also rises from OQ to OQ2. Similarly, if price is reduced from OP to OP1, then supply will reduce from OQ to OQ1.

By seeing the diagram the conclusion can be drawn that when price rises supply increases and when the price reduces the supply reduces.

Assumptions Underlying the Law of Supply:

Important assumptions of the law of supply are as follows:

1. No change in the income:

There should not be any change in the income of the purchaser or the seller.

2. No change in technique of production:

There should not be any change in the technique of production. This is essential for the cost to remain unchanged. With the improvement in technique if the cost of production is reduced, the seller would supply more even at falling prices.

3. There should be no change in transport cost:

It is assumed that transport facilities and transport costs are unchanged. Otherwise, a reduction in transport cost implies lowering the cost of production, so that more would be supplied even at a lower price.

4. Cost of production be unchanged:

It is assumed that the price of the product changes, but there is no change in the cost of production. If the cost of production increases along with the rise in the price of product, the sellers will not find it worthwhile to produce more and supply more. Therefore, the law of supply will be valid only if the cost of production remains constant. It implies that the factor prices such as wages, interest, rent etc., are also unchanged.

5. There should be fixed scale of production:

During a given period of time, it is assumed that the scale of production is held constant. If there is a changing scale of production the level of supply will change, irrespective of changes in the price of the product.

6. There should not be any speculation:

The law also assumes that the sellers do not speculate about the future changes in the price of the product. If, however, sellers expect prices to rise further in future, they may not expand supply with the present price rise.

7. The prices of other goods should remain constant:

Further, the law assumes that there are no changes in the prices of other products. If the price of some other product rises faster than that of the product in consideration, producers might transfer their resources to the other product—which is more profit yielding due to rising prices. Under this situation and circumstances, more of the product in consideration may not be supplied, despite the rising prices.

8. There should not be any change in the government policies:

Government policy is also important and vital for the law of supply. Government policies like—taxation policy, trade policy etc., should remain constant. For instance, an increase in or totally fresh levy of excise duties would imply an increase in the cost or in case there is fixation of quotas for the raw-materials or imported components of a product, then such a situation will not permit the expansion of supply with a rise in prices.

Exceptions to the Law of Supply or Backward-Slopping Supply Curve:

As we have seen from the study above that supply of a commodity varies directly with its price. But in some exceptional cases where supply may tend to fall with the rise in price or tend to rise with the fall in price.

Such exceptional cases may be described as follows:

1. Exceptions about Future Price:

In this connection if the seller expects a rise in the price in future, he may withhold his stock of the commodity. He will therefore reduce his supply in the market at the present price. Similarly, if he expects a further fall in price in future, he will try to dispose of the commodity and will supply more even at a lower price.

2. Supply of Labour:

Supply of labour after a certain point, when the wage rate rises, its supply will tend to diminish. Why such situation because workers normally prefer leisure to work after receiving a certain amount of wage.

3. Rate of Interest and Savings Position:

When there is rise in the interest rate, more savings are induced. But after a certain point of rise in the rate of interest households may tend to save less than before due to high income from the interest. In that case savings tend to decline even with a rise in the rate of interest.

From the points written above we can observe that the supply tends to fall with a rise in prices at a point. This paradoxical situation of supply behaviour is represented by a backward sloping or regressive supply curve over a part of its length as shown in the figure given below:

In this diagram SS’ shows the relationship of supply with price. Backward slopping supply curve BS ‘ part represents supply curve is bending at B. This curve is also known as an “Exceptional Supply Curve” as such a thing happens only in some exceptional cases like—labour supply or savings.

Further, in this diagram SBS’ represents a backward slopping supply curve for labour as a commodity. Here the wage rate has been regarded as the price of labour and the labour supply is determined in terms of Labour-Hours the worker is willing to work at a given wage rate. It has been observed that as wages increase, a worker might work for a lesser number of hours than before.

Q.3 Explain the concept of consumer’s surplus. What are its limitations?

Q.4 What is full-cost pricing principle? How does it lead to a higher than optimum production?

Q.5 Explain the marginal productivity theory of distribution. Also state its assumptions. Why is the marginal productivity theory not considered a satisfactory theory of distribution?

Section-B 


(This section contains five short questions of 6 marks each)
Q.6 Distinguish between positive and normative economics. Which one should be preferred and why?
Q.7 Explain the attainment of equilibrium position by a consumer with the help of an in difference curve.
Q.8 What is backward bending supply curve? Explain with an example.
Q.9 Explain the nature of Average Revenue Curve and Marginal Revenue Curve of a firm under Oligopoly.
Q.10 Discuss the concept of quasi-rent. How does it differ from the concept of economic rent?


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IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Section-C 


(This section contains four short questions of 5 marks each)

Q.11 ‘Scarcity is the mother of every economic system.’ Explain.
Q.12 What are the properties of an Isoquant?
Q.13 Distinguish between primary and intermediate inputs.
Q.14 Critically examine the Law of Equimarginal Utility. 


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IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-2023 Download Free  Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

  1. Read the detailed instructions about the assignment given in the Handbook and Programme Guide.
  2. Write your enrolment number, name, full address and date on the top right corner of the first page of your response sheet(s).
  3. Write the course title, assignment number and the name of the study centre you are attached to in the centre of the first page of your response sheet(s).
  4. Use only foolscap size paperfor your response and tag all the pages carefully
  5. Write the relevant question number with each answer.
  6. You should write in your own handwriting.



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IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-23 You will find it useful to keep the following points in mind:

  1. Planning: Read the questions carefully. IGNOU BCOG 171 Assignment 2022-23 Download Free Download PDF Go through the units on which they are based. Make some points regarding each question and then rearrange these in a logical order. And please write the answers in your own words. Do not reproduce passages from the units.
  2. Organisation: Be a little more selective and analytic before drawing up a rough outline of your answer. In an essay-type question, give adequate attention to your introduction and conclusion. IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-2023 Download Free Download PDF The introduction must offer your brief interpretation of the question and how you propose to develop it. The conclusion must summarise your response to the question. In the course of your answer, you may like to make references to other texts or critics as this will add some depth to your analysis.
  3. Presentation: IGNOU BCOG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-2023 Download Free Download PDF Once you are satisfied with your answers, you can write down the final version for submission, writing each answer neatly and underlining the points you wish to emphasize.

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