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

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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 (

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


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