Giffen Good

Definitions

Economics

  • noun
    (written as Giffen good)
    a theoretical good which is inferior in quality and has no substitutes, with the result that the demand falls if the price falls and the demand rises if the price rises. It comes from observations of poor consumers in the 19th century: if the price of bread rose they spent more on it and less on other more expensive commodities.

Health Economics

  • A type of inferior good. It is supposed to generate an upward-sloping demand curve, though the evidence for its empirical validity is contested. Named after the British statistician Sir Robert Giffen (1837-1910), alleged examples are hotly contested and none is known in the health care literature.
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