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The price of coffee rose sharply last month, while the quantity’ sold remained the same. Five people suggest various explanations: Leonard: Demand increased, but supply was perfectly inelastic. Sheldon: Demand increased, but it was perfectly inelastic. Penny: Demand increased, but supply decreased at the same time. Howard: Supply decreased, but demand was unit elastic. Raj: Supply decreased, but demand was perfectly inelastic. Who could possibly be right? Use graphs to explain your answer.

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Essentials of Economics (MindTap C...

8th Edition
N. Gregory Mankiw
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337091992
BuyFind

Essentials of Economics (MindTap C...

8th Edition
N. Gregory Mankiw
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337091992

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Chapter
Section
Chapter 5, Problem 6PA
Textbook Problem
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The price of coffee rose sharply last month, while the quantity’ sold remained the same. Five people suggest various explanations:

  Leonard: Demand increased, but supply was perfectly inelastic.

  Sheldon: Demand increased, but it was perfectly inelastic.

  Penny: Demand increased, but supply decreased at the same time.

  Howard: Supply decreased, but demand was unit elastic.

  Raj: Supply decreased, but demand was perfectly inelastic.

Who could possibly be right? Use graphs to explain your answer.

Expert Solution
To determine

Choosing the right explanation for the cause.

Explanation of Solution

Figures 1-5 below is the graphical illustrations of explanations offered by Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, Howard and Raj for the cause of sharp rise in price of coffee with no change in quantity sold. Explanations of each of them are graphed separately to evaluate the correct explanation of the cause. In all the figures from 1 to 5, the vertical axis represents the price of coffee and horizontal axis represents the quantity demanded and supplied of coffee.

Figure 1 illustrates Leonard’s explanation and according to him, supply is perfectly inelastic and demand is increased. From the figure, it can be inferred that the price increased while the quantity remained the same. This proves Leonard’s explanation to be correct.

By Sheldon’s explanation as in figure 2, the demand has increased but is perfectly inelastic. As a result, both the price and quantity of coffee increased which implies his explanation to be incorrect.

In Figure 3, by Penny’s explanation, demand increased and supply decreased at the same time...

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