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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Indian Economy Economic status Higher secondary school College

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Economics : Consumer Behaviour : Characteristics of wants

Wants are unlimited: Man is a bundle of desires. There is no limit to human wants. If one set of wants are fulfilled, immediately another set of wants would be felt. Even the richest man will have a list of wants to be fulfilled.

Characteristics of wants

 

        Wants are unlimited: Man is a bundle of desires. There is no limit to human wants. If one set of wants are fulfilled, immediately another set of wants would be felt. Even the richest man will have a list of wants to be fulfilled.

 

Every want is satiable: wants in general are unlimited. But a single or a particular want is satiable. We can completely satisfy a single want. A man is hungry and he requires food. By spending some money on food, he can get food and satisfy his hunger.

 

        Wants are competitive: Wants are unlimited. The resources and time at our disposal are much limited and we cannot satisfy all wants. So the wants will be competing to get satisfied. One set of wants may be competing with other set of wants to get preference of choosing first. For example, Raju has a sum of Rs.20. With this amount of Rs.20, he has to choose between going to a movie, buying a magazine or buying vegetables. Of course, a consumer will choose the more urgent wants and distribute his income on several goods in such a manner as to get maximum satisfaction.

 

        Wants are complementary: Some wants are complementary in nature, i.e. they have to be satisfied together. Though the want may be a single one, we require many commodities and services to satisfy that want. Want for 'writing' includes want for paper, pen and ink. In some cases, wants may be both 'competitive' and 'complementary'. For example, labour and machinery. Labour can be displaced by machinery. Machines cannot work without the help of labour.


        Wants are alternative: A want can be satisfied by two or more goods or by two or more methods. A want for hot drink may be satisfied by coffee or tea. We may go by 'bus' or 'train' or by 'taxi' to reach our destination. Thus, a want can be satisfied by many ways. These alternative goods or methods are called 'substitutes'.


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