(1) Consumer preferences do not alter. His selection of a combo demonstrates his fondness for that. (3) The customer picks just one combination at a given price-income line, suggesting that every change in relative pricing will always result in some change in what he purchases. This is known as the "law of demand" or "law of supply". It has many exceptions, but it generally holds true.
Revealed preference analysis starts with the assumption that consumers act rationally, which means they will pick the option that gives them an overall highest utility score. In other words, they will select the choice that best balances their needs and desires. The idea behind this method is to use what people actually choose to determine how good or how bad each option is for them. It is also assumed that people are truthful when disclosing their choices-that is, they will only tell you what they prefer and not what they really want/need.
Utility theories began as economic tools used by business managers to make decisions about what products to sell by looking at which ones people buy. The idea was to see which options were most preferred by customers so companies could offer them again and again. As these theories became more widely used by social scientists instead of businesses, the focus changed from product selection to behavior. They wanted to know why people chose the options they did-what forces drove their choices?
Evidence However, it is generally recognized that consumption patterns alter with economic prosperity. This implies that preferences are not in fact homothetic. It has long been proven that relative price changes, even when faced with the same set of prices, impact people differently. This means that when comparing two countries with different levels of economic development, it is important to account for price differences.
In addition, there are other factors that can influence consumer behavior including culture, education, and access to information. These differences can cause variations in what and how much consumers buy even within the same country at different times.
Finally, changes to product availability, marketing strategies, and other factors can also affect how much people want or need to buy. For example, increasing numbers of women are working, which means they have more money to spend on clothes. Likewise, increased urbanization leads to more shopping for clothes that can be worn multiple times before being thrown out.
In conclusion, preferences are not homothetic because they change with time and place. This is true regardless of income level. Lower-income households will likely buy less expensive goods while higher-income ones may buy more luxury items.
Figure 12.2 depicts the revealed preference axiom. Assume that given the prices of two commodities X and Y and the consumer's money to spend on the two things, PL is the budget line confronting the customer. As a result, his preference for A over B implies that he prefers the combination A of the two things over the combination B of the two goods. This fact is expressed by the assumption that when the price of Y is increased, then the quantity of Y consumed decreases. The same holds for X when its price is decreased.
Now assume that all other things are equal. Then the consumer would still prefer A over B even if the price of Y was zero while the price of X was not. In this case, it can be said that A reveals a higher degree of preference than B. This means that when the price of A falls, then it will be chosen over B even if the price of B has not yet been reduced enough for it to be chosen over A.
In conclusion, the revealed preference theory states that consumers will buy the product that they prefer at the price at which they can afford to buy it.
The paradox of choice states that, while we may assume that having several alternatives makes it simpler to pick one that we like and hence promotes consumer happiness, having an excess of options actually demands more work to make a decision and might leave us feeling... not happy.
It was first described by psychologists Barry Schwartz and Peter Scholl in their 1989 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. They argued that although more choices are usually thought to be better, because they give us greater freedom to choose what we want and reduce pressure to make a decision, they can also be detrimental to our well-being because making a choice means forgoing other options. Thus, having too many choices makes decisions harder, which reduces satisfaction with the choice that we do make.
They proposed three solutions to the problem: (1) limit the number of options presented to consumers, (2) allow people time to think about their choices, and (3) inform consumers about the consequences of choosing various options.
Since its publication, the paradox of choice has been cited in hundreds of articles and books on marketing, management, and psychology, and it continues to attract attention from scholars around the world.