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The 2009-2014 Outlook for Wood Toilet Seats in Greater China [Download: PDF] [Digital]

Icon Group International
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The concept of latent demand is rather subtle. The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized. Demand is the notion of an economic quantity that a target population or market requires under different assumptions of price, quality, and distribution, among other factors. Latent demand, therefore, is commonly defined by economists as the industry earnings of a market when that market becomes accessible and attractive to serve by competing firms. It is a measure, therefore, of potential industry earnings (P.I.E.) or total revenues (not profit) if Greater China is served in an efficient manner. It is typically expressed as the total revenues potentially extracted by firms. The "market" is defined at a given level in the value chain. There can be latent demand at the retail level, at the wholesale level, the manufacturing level, and the raw materials level (the P.I.E. of higher levels of the value chain being always smaller than the P.I.E. of levels at lower levels of the same value chain, assuming all levels maintain minimum profitability).

The latent demand for wood toilet seats in Greater China is not actual or historic sales. Nor is latent demand future sales. In fact, latent demand can be either lower or higher than actual sales if a market is inefficient (i.e., not representative of relatively competitive levels). Inefficiencies arise from a number of factors, including the lack of international openness, cultural barriers to consumption, regulations, and cartel-like behavior on the part of firms. In general, however, latent demand is typically larger than actual sales in a market.

For reasons discussed later, this report does not consider the notion of "unit quantities", only total latent revenues (i.e., a calculation of price times quantity is never made, though one is implied). The units used in this report are U.S. dollars not adjusted for inflation (i.e., the figures incorporate inflationary trends). If inflation rates vary in a substantial way compared to recent experience, actually sales can also exceed latent demand (not adjusted for inflation). On the other hand, latent demand can be typically higher than actual sales as there are often distribution inefficiencies that reduce actual sales below the level of latent demand.

As mentioned in the introduction, this study is strategic in nature, taking an aggregate and long-run view, irrespective of the players or products involved. In fact, all the current products or services on the market can cease to exist in their present form (i.e., at a brand-, R&D specification, or corporate-image level) and all the players can be replaced by other firms (i.e., via exits, entries, mergers, bankruptcies, etc.), and there will still be latent demand for wood toilet seats at the aggregate level. Product and service offerings, and the actual identity of the players involved, while important for certain issues, are relatively unimportant for estimates of latent demand.


In order to estimate the latent demand for wood toilet seats across the regions and cites of Greater China, I used a multi-stage approach. Before applying the approach, one needs a basic theory from which such estimates are created. In this case, I heavily rely on the use of certain basic economic assumptions. In particular, there is an assumption governing the shape and type of aggregate latent demand functions. Latent demand functions relate the income of a region, city, household, or individual to realized consumption. Latent demand (often realized as consumption when an industry is efficient), at any level of the value chain, takes place if an equilibrium is realized. For firms to serve a market, they must perceive a latent demand and be able to serve that demand at a minimal return. The single most important variable determining consumption, assuming latent demand exists, is income (or other financial resources at higher levels of the value chain). Other factors that can pivot or shape demand curves include external or exogenous shocks (i.e., business cycles), and or changes in utility for the product in question.

Ignoring, for the moment, exogenous shocks and variations in utility across geographies, the aggregate relation between income and consumption has been a central theme in economics. The figure below concisely summarizes one aspect of problem. In the 1930s, John Meynard Keynes conjectured that as incomes rise, the average propensity to consume would fall. The average propensity to consume is the level of consumption divided by the level of income, or the slope of the line from the origin to the consumption function. He estimated this relationship empirically and found it to be true in the short-run (mostly based on cross-sectional data). The higher the income, the lower the average propensity to consume. This type of consumption function is labeled "A" in the figure below (note the rather flat slope of the curve). In the 1940s, another macroeconomist, Simon Kuznets, estimated long-run consumption functions which indicated that the marginal propensity to consume was rather constant (using time series data). This type of consumption function is shown as "B" in the figure below (note the higher slope and zero-zero intercept). The average propensity to consume is constant.

Is it declining or is it constant? A number of other economists, notably Franco Modigliani and Milton Friedman, in the 1950s (and Irving Fisher earlier), explained why the two functions were different using various assumptions on intertemporal budget constraints, savings, and wealth. The shorter the time horizon, the more consumption can depend on wealth (earned in previous years) and business cycles. In the long-run, however, the propensity to consume is more constant. Similarly, in the long run, households with no income eventually have no consumption (wealth is depleted). While the debate surrounding beliefs about how income and consumption are related is interesting, in this study a very particular school of thought is adopted. In particular, we are considering the latent demand for wood toilet seats across the regions and cities of Greater China. The smallest cities have few inhabitants. I assume that all of these cities fall along a "long-run" aggregate consumption function. This long-run function applies despite some of these states having wealth; current income dominates the latent demand for wood toilet seats. So, latent demand in the long-run has a zero intercept. However, I allow different propensities to consume (including being on consumption functions with differing slopes, which can account for differences in industrial organization, and end-user preferences).

Given this overriding philosophy, I will now describe the methodology used to create the latent demand estimates for wood toilet seats in Greater China. Since ICON Group has asked me to apply this methodology to a large number of categories, the rather academic discussion below is general and can be applied to a wide variety of categories and geographic locations, not just wood toilet seats in Greater China.

Step 1. Product Definition and Data Collection

Any study of latent demand requires that some standard be established to define "efficiently served". Having implemented various alternatives and matched these with market outcomes, I have found that the optimal approach is to assume that certain key indicators are more likely to reflect efficiency than others. These indicators are given greater weight than others in the estimation of latent demand compared to others for which no known data are available. Of the many alternatives, I have found the assumption that the highest aggregate income and highest income-per-capita markets reflect the best standards for "efficiency". High aggregate income alone is not sufficient (i.e. some cities have high aggregate income, but low income per capita and can not assumed to be efficient). Aggregate income can be operationalized in a number of ways, including gross domestic product (for industrial categories), or total disposable income (for household categories; population times average income per capita, or number of households times average household income).

Latent demand is therefore estimated using data collected for relatively efficient markets from independent data sources (e.g. Official Chinese Agencies, the World Resources Institute, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, various agencies from the United Nations, industry trade associations, the International...

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
496 of 504 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review January 26, 2013
All i did was look at the cover, but i already knew from the start. This is, without a doubt, still a better story than twilight.
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799 of 825 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WARNING - **NOT** a MicroSoft product!!!! November 30, 2010
By 5318008
I was thinking, "Sweet! Finally a version of Outlook that will run on my wooden Chinese toilet seats!!" Little did I know this has **NOTHING** to do with Outlook for Windows or any other MicroSoft product. It is NOT a five-year wooden-toilet email/calendar software product, but is in fact some kind of WELL-DONE REPORT ON TOILET SEATS!! By coincidence still entirely useful to me in my line of business but now I will have to find some other way to coordinate my inter-seat schedules and emails!! Buyer beware!!
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676 of 699 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is weird January 12, 2010
By brutus
This is so weird. My husband and I were just discussing the 2009-2014 outlook for wood toilet seats in greater China the other day. Now today, here I am surfing Amazon and wouldn't you know it? The 2009-2014 outlook for wood toilet seats in greater China. I am so happy the price seems reasonable. I'm thinking Amazing Anniversary Present!!!!!!
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234 of 245 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it June 4, 2013
I'm not sure what all these rave reviews are about. I was just as excited as the next man to order this highly anticipated follow-up to "The 2002-2009 Outlook for Wood Toilet Seats in Greater China" but it left me flat.

It felt forced and unneeded. I think the author just wanted another pay day without having to come up with something original.

I can't believe they got Nicholas Cage for the movie... or I guess I can.
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120 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This solved my problem. May 15, 2013
I am a manufacturer of wooden toilet seats. Until I saw this report, I had no idea that China was even a viable market. I am so pleased that I now know that through 2014 the outlook for wooden toilet seats are good for China and thus I shall send them to the Chinese people (who, in a stroke of coincidence, actually made them!)

Wooden toilet seats: Good for China, good for you.
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191 of 207 people found the following review helpful
And as hypnotic as the I Ching!

This extraordinary analysis, panoramic in scale and of far reaching magnitude, is now finally available to the reader in two significantly useful and highly desirable formats: PDF e-download and paperback, 141 pages (Both $495.00,in stock and available with one click ordering).

A current blockbuster best seller and a classic in the making, this analysis is beloved by children as well as adults, scholars as well as arm chair travelers, the constipated as well as those who are decidedly not, and even those who can move their bowels regularly.

In fact, like many great writings, "The 2009-2014 Outlook for Wood Toilet Seats in Greater China" can be appreciated on multiple levels....cultural, political, historic, dramatic, poetic, educational, satiric, humorous and even just plain goofy fun.

Starting with the eternal premise that "The concept of latent demand is rather subtle" the hypnotic story line evolves outward, captivating and fascinating the reader. Soon an overlay of the Eastern philosophical tenet "The average propensity to consume is constant" is introduced and as you can well imagine, all hell breaks loose!

In the end, despite coming to the ultimate and often life altering knowledge that "Product and service offerings, and the actual identity of the players involved, while important for certain issues, are relatively unimportant for estimates of latent demand", and " the long run, households with no income eventually have no consumption", the reader comes to fundamentally understand that the true nature, the very essence of humankind will, whatever the circumstance, choose a toilet seat over a hole in the ground nine times out of ten.
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124 of 133 people found the following review helpful
I picked this up off Amazon with little or no knowledge of the Chinese situation. It was all just a black hole to me. But, I must say that after a constipated start, I was riveted. Seeing the transformation of Xiao Ling through adolescence and the turmoil accompanying his parent's gastrointestinal issues until his later redemption at the ministry of lavoratory accessories was really moving to me. In fact, I don't see how anyone can read this and not be moved deeply and viscerally. I will admit there were parts that I strained to get through. There were other times that I wanted to gush over what was going on; flush with the excitement.

There was also a very nuanced sexuality that infuses the book. Stroke after stroke of the writer's pen really paid off in the climactic scene. The iconic imagery of Chairman Mao invoked by the village ejaculating his name over and over could not help but overwhelm a reader, though a few minutes after one might be lulled into a sleepily languid state by the diminishing rhythm of pace in the story.

I must say that I was not equally enchanted with the movie version of this. While I normally like Samuel L. Jackson, I just did not think he was able to pull off Mei-Zhen, Xiao's older sister. Also, some of the funnier moments in the written version just did not come through on screen. I will add that the sequel to this "The Chinese Wood Toilet Seat that Kicked the Hornet's Nest" was not anywhere near the caliber and of the seminal first work.

Overall, I would highly recommend this. Don't listen to the "haters" of wood toilet seats out there. This one is a keeper!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars No second edition?
Now that we have reached the end of 2014, I was hoping to see an update to this book - a version number two, if you will - comparing the forecasts of sales of wooden toilet seats... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tim Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Room for improvement.
This book would have been a lot better had they included 2008. What a year for Wooden Toilet Seats that was!!!
Published 2 months ago by Steve K
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're like me and you make your living off of knowing ...
I've been a trader in Pacific Rim toilet seat futures for the past decade and I don't think I've ever come across a more solidly researched book on the subject. Read more
Published 3 months ago by NotMe
3.0 out of 5 stars I laughed. I cried, I pulled splinters. ...
I laughed. I cried, I pulled splinters. This is a stark expose of luan on flesh horror. So many maimed gluteus maximii. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kevin Simons
2.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you check where you are!
Maybe it's my fault but when I saw The 2009-2014 Outlook for Wood Toilet Seats in Greater China I was so excited that I immediately purchased it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Thomas Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story for our times! Here be spoilers!
I was enthralled at first -- weaving an intricate story of lust, betrayal and murder, with characters you had genuine emotion for -- but then near the end, the author makes a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Goebel
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnficent!!!
Why, oh why, has this magnificent opus not been made into a documentary? Hollywood, you have clearly lost your senses. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Collie Mom
4.0 out of 5 stars New drop in price allowed me to buy for the whole family!
Finally a drop in price makes this stunning literary work available for all!
Published 8 months ago by T. S. Perry
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing essential companion volume
It's great, but I'm taking off one star because the companion compendium, The 2009-2014 Outlook for Steel Toilet Covers in Lesser China, is not yet available.
Published 8 months ago by eric
5.0 out of 5 stars Maple Yule like it
It left me in splinters, and I'm knot the kind of guy who goes with the grain. Some people, I guess, will take it or leave it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Elwood Dowd
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