Difference Between Hicks and Slutsky (With Table)

Microeconomics is a vast field of study that includes several theories related to the wants and needs of people. An important aspect involves defining ‘compensated demand’ which further isolates the substitution effect. Hicks and Slutsky are two approaches that do so. Understanding them can be quite challenging, but the difference between them helps paint a clear picture.

Hicks vs Slutsky

The difference between hicks and Slutsky is that Hicks proposes a demand curve that expresses the demand for consumption bundles in case a consumer’s utility is fixed with a reduction in expenditure. On the other hand, Slutsky proposes a demand curve that expresses the fluctuations in demand for consumption bundles that occur due to changes in price when the utility is fixed.

The Hicks Demand Function, named after John Richard Hicks, is a popular microeconomics theory that is also called Compensated Demand Function. It defines a situation when a consumer demands a bundle of goods that causes a reduction in the money they spend, while the satisfaction derived from the goods remains the same.

The Slutsky Demand Function is named after the famous Russian economist, Eugen Slutsky. It is also called Slutsky Identity. The equation states that there is a change in demand as the price of commodities changes, while the satisfaction derived from them remains the same. It gives rise to the substation effect as well as the income effect.

Comparison Table Between Hicks and Slutsky

Parameters of ComparisonHicksSlutsky
DefinitionHicks proposes a demand curve that expresses the demand for consumption bundles.Slutsky proposes a demand curve for the change in demand for consumption bundles.
EconomistThe Hicks demand function was named after John Richard Hicks.The Slutsky Demand Function is named after the famous Russian economist, Eugen Slutsky.
Alternative NameHicks demand function is also called compensated demand function.Slutsky demand function is also called Slutsky identity.
UseHicks derives a solution to reduce expenditure on commodity bundles.Slutsky relates the changes from uncompensated to compensated demand.
EffectsHicks gives rise to the income and substation effects.Slutsky is the result of income and substation effects.

What is Hicks?

Hicks is a demand function in microeconomics that is also called compensated demand function. It refers to a quantity demanded for a good while a maximum reduction in the amount of money spent on them. This is done while the amount of satisfaction derived from the commodity remains the same. The function is named after the popular economist John Richard Hicks.

The demand function is used to isolate the effect that relative prices of commodities have on the quantity that has been demanded. It is also quite useful to be applied for mathematical manipulations for the reason that the wealth or income of the consumer need not be represented. When the Hicks demand function is applied in a certain situation, it gives rise to two effects – the substitution effect and the income effect.

The substitution effect refers to the change in the quantity of the demanded good that arises due to a change in price. This modifies the slope that defines budget constraints however, the utility derived from the good remains the same throughout. Meanwhile, the income effect is related to the change in quantity demanded because of the consumers total buying power. When the purchasing power of a consumer falls, the income effect gives rise to the substitution effect.

What is Slutsky?

The Slutsky Demand function, also called Slutsky Identity, was named after the famous Russian economist Eugen Slutsky. The equation defines the changes that occur when uncompensated demand changes o compensated demand. This takes place when the satisfaction derived from the commodity remains the same throughout. The Slutsky equation is one that is used most commonly by various economists.

Using the Slutsky equation is quite advantageous as it makes it easier to calculate the amount of income that is equal to the cost difference. By assessing this, the income of the consumer is adjusted. This is dependent on observable market data. The Slutsky approach is a result of the separation of income effect from substitution effect. However, the substitution effect that is derived includes a certain amount of gain in the consumer’s income.

An important aspect of the Slutsky demand function is that as the quantity of the demanded commodity reduces, the income effect reduces as well. This means that if the quantity of demanded goods is small, then the income effect automatically becomes very close to insignificant. Moreover, when the commodity is a normal good, a reduction in its price results in an increase in the amount of goods demanded. This is due to both income and substitution effects.

Main Differences Between Hicks and Slutsky

  1. Hicks proposes a demand curve that expresses the demand for consumption bundles whereas Slutsky proposes a demand curve for the change in demand for consumption bundles.
  2. Hicks demand function was named after John Richard Hicks whereas Slutsky demand function was named after Eugen Slutsky.
  3. Hicks demand function is also called compensated demand function whereas the alternative name for Slutsky demand function is Slutsky Identity.
  4. Hicks derives a solution to reduce expenditure on commodity bundles whereas Slutsky relates the changes from uncompensated to compensated demand.
  5. Hicks gives rise to the income and substation effects whereas Slutsky is a result of both the effects.

Conclusion

Hicks and Slutsky are two demand functions that are very commonly used by economists and mathematicians across the globe. Interestingly, both have a subtle relationship. While hicks finds out the compensated demand, Slutsky finds out the change when uncompensated demand is converted to compensated demand.

Understanding the Hicks demand function and Slutsky demand function is very important while studying economics. Both the theories are related to income and substitution effects. However, while Hicks gives rise to both the effect, Slutsky is formed because of their separation. Another important difference between Hicks and Slutsky is simply the fact that they were founded by two different but very popular economists who managed to change the course of history in microeconomics.

References

  1. https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-SSJS200501008.htm
  2. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=892689

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