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We have stated earlier those supply curves that are positively sloped. There can be sometime exceptions to the rule that there is a backward bending supply curve of labor. It slopes from left to right (negatively sloped).


“Wages can increase to a point where less labor is offered in the market”.

Explanation with Schedule and Diagram:

In above diagram (5.4) and schedule, a labor is willing to work for 10 hours a day at a wage rate of $10 per hour. When the wage rate increases to $30 per hour, he puts in 13 hours of work. If wage rise to $50, he then prefers leisure to work and is willing to work for 10 hours only. The supply curve SS/shows that a worker puts in less labor when wage rate rises above $30 per hour. The supply of labor then is negatively slopped and is backward bending.

Factors or Determinants:

The following factors or determinants of the backward bending supply curve of labor are:

(i) The substitution of leisure for work.

(ii) Increase in income which leads to rise in demand of normal commodities including leisure.