I. Introduction It is generally accepted that price may enter into the determination of consumers' choice in two ways: as an indicator of cost and as an indicator of quality. Contemporary demand theory rests heavily on the first of these two functions while the second tends to be treated as if it were an exceptional and anomalous phenomenon, to be mentioned only in order to be dismissed as unimportant. Indeed, it is of considerable analytical convenience to ignore price as a quality indicator, because if this is not done, the utility function of the individual must be formulated so as to incorporate an additional set of independent variables, namely the prices of all the commodities in the market. The problem is not intrinsically insoluble but it leads to difficulties which can be avoided simply by denying the relevance of this aspect of price.
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