Applied Economics Teaching Resources

an AAEA Journal

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Teaching and Educational Methods

A Brief History of Giffen Behavior and an Applicable Student Example

Mark Holmgren(a)
(a)Eastern Washington University

JEL Codes: JEL Codes: A22, D11, D12
Keywords: Giffen behavior, intermediate microeconomic theory, procrastination

Publish Date: March 27, 2024
Volume 6, Issue 1

View Full Article (PDF)

Abstract

Giffen behavior is covered in various intermediate microeconomics textbooks, but debates arise over its existence. Given particular assumptions, Giffen behavior arises for students waiting until the end of the term to study. For some students, the available time for studying diminishes, but non-academic pursuits are available after the term (the time constraint becomes steeper). While the total possible time for the course decreases, some students study more. Instructors may demonstrate this type of example to students in hopes that it will be more relatable and gain a greater knowledge of the Giffen good concept.

About the Authors: Mark Holmgren is a Professor with the Department of Economics at Eastern Washington University (mholmgren@ewu.edu).

Copyright is governed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA

References

Akerlof, G.A. 1991. “Procrastination and Obedience.” American Economic Review 81(2):1–19.

Allgood, S. 2001. “Grade Targets and Teaching Innovations.” Economics of Education Review 20 (5): 485– 493.

Arawomo, D.F. 2019. “Is Giffen Behavior Compatible with Residual Demand for Cooking Gas  and Kerosene? Evidence from a State in Nigeria.” International Journal of Energy Sector Management 13(1):45–59.

Battalio, R.C., J.H. Kagel, and C.A. Kogut. 1991. “Experimental Confirmation of the Existence of a Giffen Good.” American Economic Review 81(4):961–970.

Bopp, A.E. 1983. “The Demand for Kerosene: A Modern Giffen Good.” Applied Economics 15:459–467.

Briys, E., G. Dionne, and L. Eeckhoudt. 1989. “More on Insurance as a Giffen Good.” Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 2:415–420.

Cao, L. 2012. “Examining Active Procrastination from a Self-Regulated Learning Perspective.” Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology 32(4):515–545.

Creedy, J. 1990. “Marshall and Edgeworth.” Scottish Journal of Political Economy 37 (1): 18– 39.

Davies, J.E. 1994. “Giffen Goods, the Survival Imperative, and the Irish Potato Culture.” Journal of Political Economy 102(3):547–565.

Dooley, P.C. 1985. “Giffen’s Hint.” Australia Economic Papers 24 (44):201–205.

Ferrari, J.R. 1992. “Psychometric Validation of Two Procrastination Inventories for Adults: Arousal and Avoidance Measures.” Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 14(2):97–110.

Frank, R.H. 2021. Microeconomics and Behavior, 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Gilley, O.W., and G.V. Karels. 1991. “In Search of Giffen Behavior.” Economic Inquiry 29(1):182–189.

Goolsbee, A., S. Levitt, and C. Syverson. 2020. Microeconomics, 3rd ed. New York: Worth Publishers.

Hau, A. 2008. “When Is a Coinsurance-Type Insurance Policy Inferior or Even Giffen?” Journal of Risk and Insurance 75(2):343–364.

Hoy, M., and A.J. Robson. 1981. “Insurance as a Giffen Good.” Economics Letters 8:47–51.

Jensen, R.T., and N.H. Miller. 2008. “Giffen Behavior and Subsistence Consumption.” American Economic Review 98(4):1553–1577.

Landsburg, S.E. 2014. Price Theory and Applications, 9th ed. Mason OH: Cengage.

Lekhe, F.S., L.B. Islam, S.Z. Islam, and A. Akter. 2014. “Giffen Behavior for Rice Consumption in Rural Bangladesh.” International Journal of Applied Economics 11(1):48–59.

Mansfield, E., and G Yohe. 2003. Microeconomics, 11th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.

McDonough, T., and J. Eisenhauer. 1995. “Sir Robert Giffen and the Great Potato Famine: A Discussion of the Role of a Legend in Neoclassical Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues 29(3):747–759.

O’Donoghue, T., and M. Rabin. 2001. “Choice and Procrastination.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116(1):121–160.

Perloff, J.M. 2020. Microeconomics, 8th ed. Boston MA: Pearson.

Pindyck, R.S., and D.L. Rubinfeld. 2018. Microeconomics, 9th ed. Boston MA: Pearson.

Read, C. 2017. “The Irish Famine and Unusual Market Behaviour in Cork.” Irish Economic and  Social History 44(1):3–18.

Rosen, S. 1999. “Potato Paradoxes.” Journal of Political Economy 107(S6):S294–313.

Shachmurove, Y., and J. Szyrmer. 2011. “Giffen Goods in a Transition Economy: Subsistence Consumption in Russia.” Frontiers in Finance and Economics 8(2):27–48.

Seo, E.H. 2012. “Cramming, Active Procrastination, and Academic Achievement.” Social Behavior and Personality 40(8):1333–1340.

Stigler, G.J. 1947. “Notes on the History of the Giffen Paradox.” Journal of Political Economy 55:152–156.

Varian, H.R. 2019. Intermediate Microeconomics, 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton.

Zheng, S., S. Huang, Z. Wang, and Z. Wang. 2016. “Giffen Paradox and Industrial Development: A Case Study of Family Service Industry in Beijing.” The Chinese Economy 49(2):105–127.