Supply, Supply Curve and Law of Supply

len Alfred Ajibola - Fri, 26th April, 2019 @ 8:38 PM

Topics in Economics

Basic tools for economic analysis: Graphs explained with its characteristics and importance Basic tools for economic analysis: Tables explained with its characteristics and importance Factors affecting population in economics Advantages of Inflation Disadvantages of Inflation Concept of Inflation in Economics Scheme of work for Economics, SS1, First Term Scheme of work for Economics, SS1, Second Term Scheme of Work for Economics, SS1, Third Term Functions of the Wholesaler Advantages and Disadvantages of the Wholesaler Wholesale Market: Who is a Wholesaler? Characteristics of the Wholesaler Retail Market: Who is a Retailer and Examples of Retailers Market: Types of Market What is a Market in Economics? Elasticity of supply explained with its types Supply Elasticity: Elasticity of Supply explained Demand Schedule - Types of Demand Schedule Demand: What is Demand? Law of Demand

Academic Questions in Economics

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

_____ is defined as a gradual and sustained rise in price level of goods and services in relation to their availability.

  • A. Basis Point Rate

  • B. Hike Rate

  • C. Elastic Supply

  • D. Elasticity of Price

  • E. Price Inflation

  • F. Aggregate Supply

The wholesalers can bring about an economy of scale.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following statement isn't a characteristics of the wholesaler?

  • A. They may have to operate in specific areas or regions accorded them by the producer

  • B. They are often popular in the line of goods they supply

  • C. They are not risk bearers

  • D. They have good storage facilities

  • E. They often pay for goods supplied by the manufacturers in advance

  • F. They usually have business agents or brokers

The wholesalers act as the middlemen in supply chain.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Large retailers who buy directly from manufacturers are termed as _____.

  • A. Wholesale Retailers

  • B. Certified Retailers

  • C. Codified Retailers

  • D. Commodity Retailers

  • E. Manufacturers Retailer

  • F. Conspicuous Retailers

_____ is a market whereby the sellers buy goods in lesser quantities from the wholesalers and sells in bits to the final consumers.

  • A. Commodity

  • B. Retail

  • C. Wholesale

  • D. Labour

  • E. Common

  • F. General

Which of the following is not a financial market?

  • A. Money Market

  • B. Bond Market

  • C. Foreign Exchange Market

  • D. Virtual Market

  • E. Capital Market

  • F. Stock Exchange Market

A _____ market provides a platform whereby job seekers link up with employers in an attempt to be hired.

  • A. Wholesale market

  • B. Bond market

  • C. Physical market

  • D. Virtual market

  • E. Factor Market

  • F. Labor Market

What is Supply?

Supply can be defined as the amount or quantity of goods and services a producer or manufacturer or supplier intends to sell at a given time and period.

Consider the instance below:

A producer of rice may plan to sell a bag of rice for N10,000.

The quantity of rice sold by the producer over this period of time will depend on the price of his or her rice, in addition to other factors. Such additional factors may include:

  1. The quantity of rice in the market.

  2. The quality of his rice.

  3. The price substitute of rice.

  4. The demand of rice at that present moment and so on.

  5. Please read on the graphical representation of supply curve here.

The term 'quantity supplied' refers to the amount or number of goods supplied and services rendered.


Supply Curve

Supply Curve -Len Academy

Supply curve is the graph that shows the correlation between the amount or quantity of goods supplied and its price over a given period of time.

Please read on the elasticity of supply here.

In a supply curve, the quantity of goods supplied is always on the horizontal axis while the price is seen on the vertical axis.

Oftentimes, before we plot a supply curve (graph), we would have a table that contains the observable data showing a prior listings of the price and quantity of goods supplied. Such a table is known as the supply schedule.

You can read on demand schedule here.

When price is plotted against the quantity supplied in a supply curve (graph), we will notice an upward sloped graph from left to right. This upward and left to right movement of the supply curve validates the law of supply which states that:

The suppliers are willing to offer or sell more quantity of their goods at a higher price provided all other factors are kept constant.

Law of Supply

Please read on demand and law of demand here.

It is important to state that when other factors (not relating to price) that affect the quantity of goods supplied are present, the supply curve may shift to the right or left. Below are some instances:

  1. The availabiity of better seeds or a new pest resistant seed will increase the supply of crops from such seeds, hence; supply curve will shift to the right.
    Please read on the types of supply elasticity here.
  2. Natural disasters like earthquakes and droughts will shift the supply curve to the left.
  3. You can read on soil erosion here.

  4. Increase in the price of a substitute crop will shift the supply curve to the right.
  5. If the price of a crop will increase in the future, the supply curve will shift to the left because manufacturers and producers will prefer to sell such crop in the future.
  6. An increase in labour will shift the supply curve to the left.
  7. Please read on division of labour here.

  8. Any technology that will boost the amount of crop produced or the number of services rendered will shift the supply curve to the right.
  9. You can read on the internet of things here.

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Amazing facts in Economics

Notable points in Economics

A unitary elasticity of supply is seen when a change in price brings about a corresponding and proportional change in the quantity of goods or services supplied.

The graph below shows a unit elasticity of supply:
Unit Elastic Supply Curve - Len Academy

Below is an instance of a unitary elasticity of supply:

  • If a 100% increase in the price of wheat translates into a 100% increase in the production and supply of wheat, then the supply elasticity is said to be unitary elastic and its value is equal to 1.

Unitary elasticity is always equal to 1, that is: Es = 1

The supply curve runs diagonally and will pass through the center.

Supply elasticity is defined as the rate at which an increase in price of goods translates into its increased production and availability in the market. Supply elasticity is also termed as price elasticity of supply.

Consider the statements below:

  • If a 100% increase in the price of rice translates into a 100% increase in the production and supply of rice, the supply elasticity is said to be unitary elastic and its value is equal to 1.

  • If a 100% increase in the price of rice translates into a 50% increase in the production and supply (quantity) of rice, the supply elasticity is said to be inelastic and its value will be greater than zero and less than 1. In this case, the exact value is 0.5: (value of change in the quantity of rice divided by value of change in price of rice = 50/100 = 0.5).

  • Please read on supply elasticity here

The individual demand schedule is a table that shows the demand of a commodity that an individual (consumer) purchased at various prices, and at a particular time.

The table below shows an individual demand schedule:

Price in Naira (of a tuber of yam)

Quantity demanded (per week)











The market demand schedule is also referred to as an aggregate demand schedule, total demand schedule or composite demand schedule.

This is a table that shows the different commodities purchased by all the consumers or customers in the market.

The market demand schedule is the summation of the individual demand schedules, showing the demand of different customers for a commodity at a particular price. It is shown in the table below:

Unit price of commodity (Naira)

Quantity demanded by consumer A (QA)

Quantity demanded by consumer A (QB)

Market demand (QA +  QB)






















From the above table, notice that when the unit price of the commodity was 50 Naira, consumer A demanded 20 quantities while consumer B demanded 15 quantities.

Please read more on demand schedule here.

Below are definitions of demand from the perspective of some notable professors:

The demand for goods is a schedule of the amounts that buyers would be willing to purchase at all possible prices at any one instant of a time.

Professor Mayers

Demand is the various quantities of goods that would be purchased per time period at different prices in a given market.

Professor Hibdon

The demand for anything, at a given price is the amount of it which will be bought per unit of time at the price.

Professor Benham

Generally, demand is defined as the willingness of a person, buyer or consumer to buy a specific quantity of goods or service at a given price and time.

From the above definitions, we can infer that the definition of demand is referenced to three major factors. These are:

  1. Quantity of Goods Demanded

  2. Price

  3. Time

Please read more on the concept of demand here.