Giffen good

Giffen’s paradox is an economic term named after the British economist and statistician Robert Giffen. The law of demand states that when the price of a commodity falls, the demand for it rises. However Giffen’s Paradox is an exception to this law. This is, Giffen goods are those goods whose demand moves in the same direction as the price variation. In other words, raising the price of the good will increase its demand. Consequently any Giffen good has an upward-sloping demand curve.

Alfred Marshall coined this term in his third edition of his “Principles of Economics”, 1895, where he wrote:

As Mr. Giffen has pointed out, a rise in the price of bread makes so large a drain on the resources of the poorer labouring families and raises so much the marginal utility of money to them, that they are forced to curtail their consumption of meat and the more expensive farinaceous foods: and, bread being still the cheapest food which they can get and will take, they consume more, and not less of it.”