Movement vs Shift in Demand Curve: Difference and Comparison

The demand curve is a graphical representation plotted against a commodity’s price and quantity demanded. Using this method, economists can study and analyze the supply and demand of a commodity in the market.

Moreover, this shows the relationship between price and demand for a commodity, showing either movement or shift on the demand curve. 

Key Takeaways

  1. A movement along the demand curve results from a price change, while a shift in the demand curve arises from factors other than price.
  2. An increase in demand causes the demand curve to shift rightward; a decrease in demand shifts the curve leftward.
  3. Factors causing shifts in demand include income, population, consumer preferences, and expectations.

Movement vs Shift in Demand Curve

A movement along a demand curve is caused by a change in the price of a good or service, resulting in a change in the quantity required. A shift in the demand curve occurs when any other element impacting demand changes, such as a change in consumer preferences or income.

Movement vs Shift in Demand Curve

Meanwhile, in the Demand curve, the movement is responsible when there is a slight or huge change in price and quantity demand for a specific commodity in the market.

The curve extends or contracts depending upon its price change and quantity demand. So with this, one gets to know the insights of one’s products and their demands among customers. 

While on the other hand, when the quantity demanded changes due to factors, but the price remains the same, we describe this type of graphical representation as a shift in the demand curve.

This shift could be for various reasons, including the change in the number of customers, their tastes, and their incomes. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMovement Shift in Demand Curve
Meaning Movement in the demand curve indicates variation in price as well as commodity’s demanded quantity.Shifts appear when the changes in demands occur, alongside other factors; keeping price constant. 
Price and Demand A change in price affects the quantity demanded of a product, too.Price remains constant, whereas quantity demanded depends on various factors.
FactorsPrice and quantity demanded play an influential role in creating movement on the demand curve.Change in demand caused by Income, preferences, prices of goods, expectations in the future, population. 
CurveUpward movement- price increase; Downward movement- price decrease. As demand increases, it is a rightward shift;
As demand decreases, it is a leftward shift. 
Effect on the supply curveExpansion and contraction of the supply curve Increase and decrease of the supply curve 

What is Movement?

In demand curves, a movement would be drawn on the graph, illustrating a move in the price (y-axis) and quantity demand (x-axis) of a commodity.

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Further, the movement embodies the consistent relationship of a commodity among customers. In the demand-price graph, small variations in price cause the demand curve to move and, eventually, result in changes in the quantity demanded. 

In the abstract, one can gain insight into one’s products and their demands as well as how the products are perceived by customers.

The prices and quantities demanded of a particular commodity are the two primary factors that influence the movement of the demand curve, as per the demand curve, where there is an upward movement that indicates an increase in prices.

While a downward movement represents a decrease in the price of that commodity.  

The curve extends or contracts according to quantity and price changes. To put it in simple words, the extension of the movement in the demand curve is due to the growth in commodity demands and a plunge in price.

On the contrary,  the contraction of the movement in the demand curve is caused by a drop in demand and a rise in the price. 

What is Shift in Demand Curve?

As we know, demand curves are plotted about the expenditure and abundance of a product. That being so, the demand curve exhibits a shift when the quantity demanded changes due to factors, but the price remains the same.

Various commercial reasons might account for this alteration in the demand schedule of an entity in the market, such as the change in the number of customers, their incomes, taste & preferences, pricing of related products, size of the population, and expectations for the future.

Therefore, a shift in demand curves entirely depends on the above factors, whereas the commodity’s price remains unchanged. 

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A shift is an important parameter in demand curves because it changes the commodity’s amount purchased by people at every price point.

Furthermore, the shift in the demand curve conveys two meanings, like the rightward shift indicates favourable factors with an increase in demand, eventually rising in price and commodity.

While the leftward shift indicates unfavourable factors leading to a decrease in demand, tending to a drop in profits and commodities.

For instance, the shift in the demand curve for cold drinks during summertime is towards the right, such that the demand for cold drinks increases in summer.

Whereas it is towards the left, indicating a decline in the demand for cold drinks during summertime. 

shift in demand curve

Main Differences Between Movement and Shift in Demand Curve

  1. A demand curve’s movement demonstrates a change in price plus the quantity requested for a commodity. On the other hand, a shift in the demand curve occurs when the price remains constant, but demand varies due to some factors of production. 
  2. Price and quantity demanded are inter-dependable factors in terms of movement on the demand curve. Whereas, even if demand changes according to various factors and shifts the demand curve, the price remains the same. 
  3. In the case of movement on the demand curve, the supply curve remains the same. But for the shift on the demand curve, the supply curve shifts either right or left side. 
  4. Only one demand curve is taken into account to see the movement in the demand curve, where upward movement shows a positive rise in price and demand and vice versa for downward movement.
  5. On the contrary, there are two demand curves: a rightward shift indicates an increase in demand due to favourable factors, and a leftward shift indicates a decrease in demand due to unfavourable factors. 
  6. Movement in the demand curve shows expansion & contraction of supply, but the demand curve’s shift exhibits either a gain or reduction of the supply schedule. 

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Movement vs Shift in Demand Curve: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The extensive comparison of movement vs shift in demand curve is a valuable contribution to the field. The article has deeply explored the differences and presented them effectively.

  2. I’m not convinced by the article. I believe the relationship between price and demand isn’t adequately explored, and more evidence is required for the claims made.

  3. The article is helpful in understanding the movement and shift in the demand curve. It provides a clear explanation of different factors affecting demand.

  4. The author’s use of real-world examples has made the concept of shift in demand curve easily understandable. The illustration of rightward and leftward shift is commendable.

  5. The explanation of the demand curve and its movement is impressive. It has given me a new perspective about the commodity’s demand.

  6. The supply and demand analysis provided in the article is really informative and inspiring. I look forward to reading more articles from this author.


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