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Consumer Sovereignty

Consumer sovereignty is an economic concept with roots in classical economics that argues that consumers are the primary force for determining the scale and scope for the production of goods and the provision of services in the economy through their power to choose whether or not to consume goods and services. This entry discusses the theoretical background behind the concept of consumer sovereignty and criticisms of the concept.

Theoretical Background

Consumer sovereignty is a classical economic concept that appears at least as early as Adam Smith’s An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. It assigns to consumers the primary, if not sole, discretion for calculating the marginal costs and benefits of their prospective consumption of goods and services. This decision-making role determines ...

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