Key Concepts and Summary
The upward-sloping short run aggregate supply (SRAS) curve shows the positive relationship between the price level and the level of real GDP in the short run. Aggregate supply slopes up because when the price level for outputs increases, while the price level of inputs remains fixed, the opportunity for additional profits encourages more production. The aggregate supply curve is near-horizontal on the left and near-vertical on the right. In the long run, we show the aggregate supply by a vertical line at the level of potential output, which is the maximum level of output the economy can produce with its existing levels of workers, physical capital, technology, and economic institutions.
The downward-sloping aggregate demand (AD) curve shows the relationship between the price level for outputs and the quantity of total spending in the economy. It slopes down because of: (a) the wealth effect, which means that a higher price level leads to lower real wealth, which reduces the level of consumption; (b) the interest rate effect, which holds that a higher price level will mean a greater demand for money, which will tend to drive up interest rates and reduce investment spending; and (c) the foreign price effect, which holds that a rise in the price level will make domestic goods relatively more expensive, discouraging exports and encouraging imports.