Coffee Demand Was Considerably More Elastic Term Paper

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Coffee demand was considerably more elastic than the Columbia producers believed because they were still operating upon an older mode of assessing demand, one based upon a market with fewer substitute goods and fewer alternative sources for the cash crop. Once upon a time, all Americans, by and large, woke in the morning to a cup of coffee. Coffee was consumed at breakfast as a staple. But in the 1970s, consumers had more available substitute goods, like sodas, for their caffeine addiction. Also, the number of producers increased: "As more and more farmers began producing coffee beans (estimates ranged from 750,000 to 900,000 farms in 1972), prices began to steadily decline. Well over 200,000 farms were lost by the mid-1990s, as the oversupply of coffee in Columbia reached record highs...Following the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, Vietnam quickly came into focus as a potential mass producer of cheap coffee. Farm labor in Vietnam has always been cheap; in 1980 the average farm worker there made $0.09 a day. The climate in Vietnam was also ideal for producing beans, and the world market was more than ready to capitalize on these prime conditions (Frank, 2004). Thus, there was a perfect storm of economic factors. Consumers and distributors had greater flexibility in their choice of coffee purveyors and Columbian producers could not gouge coffee drinkers as they had in the past.

Question

The Civil Aeronautics Act regulated "entry into and exit from individual markets (by dictating the route patterns between cities and the frequency of flights), fares for passengers and cargo, safety, financing, subsidies to carriers flying on less profitable routes, mergers and acquisitions, inter-carrier agreements, and the quality of service" (Siddiqi 2008).Such regulation ensured that no one company could dominate the market in a particular region and thus be in a position to set high fares because of the lack of competition. Deregulation seemed to work in the short-term -- up to a point. True, many airlines abandoned less profitable routes that took passengers to smaller cities and hub-and-spoke routes created more air congestion, as did the proliferation of more airlines. But the average airfares dropped by more than one-third between 1977 and 1992, and most consumers were willing to put up with the added inconvenience for the ability to travel more often, and to more exotic locations. Fares dropped so low, in fact, that bus and train fares went up, because fewer people used these modes of transportation -- one of the reasons that Amtrak is so difficult to maintain today (Siddiqi 2008). The Internet made it easy for consumers to 'shop' for the lowest possible fares.

Recently, the increased threats of terrorism and the financial insolvency of many of the major carriers suggests that, even if the system is not regulated as closely as in the past, more regulation is needed for both passengers and the airlines' sakes. Also, there has… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Coffee Demand Was Considerably More Elastic.  (2008, April 26).  Retrieved January 19, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/coffee-demand-considerably-elastic/85279

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