- noun the theory that consumers are the main element in the economy because they decide whether something is bought or not and are therefore more important than the producers
- (written as Consumer Sovereignty)This is not a technical term in economics. It refers to the idea that consumers ultimately determine (often that they ought to determine) the goods and services that are produced, their quantities, qualities and availability in time and space. The nearest idea to it that is used in (welfare) economics is the idea of individual welfare, in which the welfare of all individuals, however (employers, workers, owners, investors, etc. and not just consumers) is taken as comprising the welfare of society, but it is a vulgar error to muddle this concept with 'consumer sovereignty'. It is also sometimes used to mean that consumers are the only (or possibly ought to be the only) judges of their own welfare.
- noun the power of consumers to influence trends in production and marketing