Difference Between Substitute Goods and Complementary Goods with Comparison Chart

a pair of complementary goods is
a pair of complementary goods is

As against, complementary goods, for example, bread and butter, are interdependent on each other, which means that they are used along to satisfy a particular want. Cross elasticity between two items will be zero when they are completely unrelated. In this write-up, you will get to know about the difference between complementary goods and substitute goods. To add value to a product, the company should launch a complement. For example, Unilever Indonesia Tbk releases Pepsodent toothpaste as well as Pepsodent toothbrushes because the two add value to each other. That way, it reduces the dependency of product success on products from other companies.

On occasion, the complementary good is absolutely necessary, as is the case with petrol and a car. It allows managers to take investment decisions to produce a new product by knowing the prices and demand variations of the supplementary goods. Complementarity may be driven by psychological mechanisms in which one good’s consumption increases the desire for its complements . Consumption of a food or beverage triggers a target of eating its complements too. Drinking cola raises the ability of customers to pay for a cheeseburger.

As the price of hot dog buns decreases, the demand for hot dogs increases, and vice versa. It is because hot dogs are often consumed with buns, and the price of one can impact the demand for the other. In other words, they are not responsive to increases in prices of complementary goods. The combined relationship between the complementary products suggests that it is easier to invest in the production of complementary goods with higher demand products. Alternatively, if the organisations already manufacture a specific good, they are better able to produce their complementary goods.

Complementary Goods vs. Substitute Goods

Independent goods are goods that are not dependent in any way on how the other good is used. Since demand for one does not affect the demand for the other, product differentiation has little impact on these types of product trade-offs. Complementary goods can still function even without a pair of goods. Even without a keyboard, the laptop can still function properly because there are tools attached to the laptop itself.

a pair of complementary goods is

So, as the price of a product increases, the user’s demand for the complement product decreases as shoppers are unlikely to make use of the complement product alone. If the price of maple syrup will increase by 10 p.c, but the demand for pancakes falls by 1 p.c, the relationship is therefore weak. This is because the worth improve of the complementary product has little impact on the demand on the other. If they are weak complementary items then there will be a low cross elasticity of demand. The sign, i.e. plus or minus, plays a significant role in the cross-price elasticity of demand, as it determines whether the commodities are complements or substitutes. Further, as consumer demand weakens, the market value of the complementary good or service might fall.

Complementary Goods Examples

Examples of complementary items are peanut butter and jelly and computer hardware and software program. For instance, the demand for one good generates demand for the other . B/PB)When 2 goods are complementary, if the price of one good increases (+), the quantity consumed of the second also increases (+). Let’s suppose that the supply of printers moves upwards because the price of an input becomes more expensive. As a consequence of the printers price increase, the quantity of printers consumed will diminish.

This is in contrast to a substitute good whose demand decreases when its substitute’s value decreases. Substitute goods are products which all satisfy a typical need and complementary items are merchandise that are consumed a pair of complementary goods is collectively. Demand for a product’s substitutes will increase and demand for its complements decreases if the product’s value increases. But, the cross-price elasticity of demand in case of complements is negative.

The key difference is that substitute goods replace one another, whilst complementary goods add value to the other. A Complementary good can be a product or service that is sold separately that adds value to another. In other words, they are two or more goods that are used together. ClearTax offers taxation & financial solutions to individuals, businesses, organizations & chartered accountants in India. ClearTax serves 1.5+ Million happy customers, 20000+ CAs & tax experts & 10000+ businesses across India. Many printers are sold quite cheaply because firms who manufacture printers hope to make the most profit on selling compatible ink.

It’s just that in today’s efficient and easy-to-use era, keyboards are still what people need for practicality. For this reason, if the value of the iPhone will increase, the consumer demand for a substitute will also enhance. When two goods are complementary, the demand for one generates a demand for the second one. In many cases, a complementary good doesn’t have any value if it is consumed alone.

The demand for a complementary good depends on the demand for the primary product/service. For example, peanut butter and jelly are complementary because consumers use them together to make a sandwich. The demand for peanut butter can increase the demand for jelly and vice versa.

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  • Sometimes the complement-relationship between two goods is not intuitive and must be verified by inspecting the cross-elasticity of demand using market data.
  • In the case of Apple growing the price for iPhones, this would reduce sales of iPhones and the demand for iOS apps.

If the worth of 1 good increases, then demand for the substitute is prone to rise. The supply and demand for vehicles is represented by the determine at the right with the initial demand D1. If the price of a good diminishes, the quantity consumed increases.


A product may be considered to be complementary if it shares a beneficial relationship with another product. An ideal example could be a sharpener and eraser given away with a box of pencils. The firm hopes to increase overall sales by suggesting possible related complementary goods. It follows that demand for a product is to some extent depending on the worth of its complementary goods. Coke and Pepsi, iPhone and Galaxy S collection, Nike and Adidas are a few examples of substitute goods.

It is because customers are reluctant to buy the supplement alone. Therefore, the market price of the complementary good or service can decline as consumer demand weakens. In addition to this, as consumer demand for such goods or products falls, the price in the market for the complementary goods or services also tends to decline. Are examples of complementary goods i.e. items which are used/consumed together. If iPhone becomes expensive and its amount demanded decreases, you’d expend the demand for iPhone covers to drop too and vice versa. In truth, when you take a look at any product that would not be sold by itself; it is probably a robust complementary good.

Definition of Complement is

They are largely interchangeable and when the demand for one substitute increases, the demand for the other good decreases. Examples of substitute services include cable systems and satellite systems. Although they work very differently, they can be effectively substituted for one another. Other examples include margarine and butter, satellite phones and cell phones, powdered and liquid laundry detergent, and CDs and MP3 files. None of these products are actually perfect substitutes because they all have slightly different features and have different performance characteristics.

When value of 1 good decreases to increase the demand the demand of paired goods additionally increases. There are weak complementary items and strong complementary items. Quite simply, when the worth of a Giffen good will increase, the demand for that good increases. The noticed demand curve would slope upward, indicating optimistic elasticity.

For instance, ought to the price of sizzling dogs improve, it can trigger a decrease in the demand for hot dog buns. Since the cost of sizzling canine has an inverse relationship with the demand for hot dog buns, they are thought-about complementary merchandise. In phrases of economics, if the worth of 1 good is lowered, it leads to the increase of demand for each merchandise. In economics, a complementary good is a good whose attraction increases with the popularity of its complement. Technically it displays a adverse cross elastic of demand and that demand for it will increase when the worth of one other good decreases.

A complimentary good is a good with unfavorable cross elasticity of demand. Similarly if the price of one good rises and consequently reduces its demand, it would scale back the demand for the complementary product as properly. In economics, a complementary good or complement is a good with a unfavorable cross elasticity of demand, in distinction to a substitute good.

These are known as strong complementary goods because they are pretty useless without one another. On some events, the complementary good is absolutely necessary, as is the case with petrol and a car. However, a complementary good can add value to the initial product. On the other hand, substitute goods are those goods that compete with each other. Meaning that these goods can be used as a replacement for another good.

While goods that are substituted have competitive demand, goods that are complements experience joint demand. For Example, A increase in the price of computer will lead to a decrease in the demand for the software package. Cross elasticity between two items will be positive and small when they are not close substitutes. Cross elasticity between two items will be positive and large when they are close substitutes. Cross elasticity between two items will be infinite when they are perfect substitutes.

Because it involves two products, we use cross-price elasticity to find out how responsive the price of complementary goods to the quantity demanded from a product. At the same time, if fewer people are buying iPhones, then there are also fewer people buying iPhone cases. It is because of this relationship that we can consider these as complementary goods. Complement goods also commonly called complementary goods are usually used or consumed together with other goods. This product with substitute products usually has a striking difference. In the process of certain activities, there are good things in the form of goods and services that have value in buying and selling.

It is where such companies are making use of complementary goods. One hand giving a product as cheap as $40, the complementary good that makes the camera usable is priced at a higher-end based on every use. The use of toothbrushes, for example, is not related to the consumption or use of motorcycles.

If the price of petrol were to lower by some amount, this is able to lead to a higher amount of automobiles demanded. This larger quantity demanded would trigger the demand curve to shift rightward to a brand new position D2. Two complementary products have negative cross elasticity because of the numerator and denominator of the cross elasticity formula point in the opposite direction.

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