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Keywords:

  • Law of demand;
  • monotonic function;
  • substitution effect;
  • indirect utility;
  • marginal utility of income;
  • income distribution.

This paper studies the monotonicity of individual and market demand with the aid of the indirect utility function. We identify sufficient (and in a sense, necessary) conditions on an agent's indirect utility which will guarantee that he has a monotonic demand function. Our conditions also point to a natural way of extending the result of Hildenbrand (1983). Hildenbrand showed that market demand is monontonic if the income distribution has a downward sloping density, even though individual agents' demand function might violate monotonicity. Using the indirect utility function, we introduce a measure of violations of individual monotonicity that allows us to identify a larger class of density functions that will generate a monotonic market demand.