The degree to which demand or supply reacts to a change in price is called elasticity. Elasticity varies from product to product because some products may be more essential to the consumer than others.

Learning Objectives Explain the concept of price elasticity of demand and its calculation. Explain what it means for demand to be price inelastic, unit price elastic, price elastic, perfectly price inelastic, and perfectly price elastic.

Explain how and why the value of the price elasticity of demand changes along a linear demand curve. Understand the relationship between total revenue and price elasticity of demand. Discuss the determinants of price elasticity of demand.

We know from the law of demand how the quantity demanded will respond to a price change: But how much will it change? But how much is this difference? To show how responsive quantity demanded is to a change in price, we apply the concept of elasticity.

The price elasticity of demand Economics price elasticities a good or service, eD, is the percentage change in quantity demanded of a particular good or service divided by the percentage change in the price of that good or service, all other things unchanged.

Thus we can write Equation 5. With a downward-sloping demand curve, price and quantity demanded move in opposite directions, so the price elasticity of demand is always negative.

A positive percentage change in price implies a negative percentage change in quantity demanded, and vice versa. Sometimes you will see the absolute value of the price elasticity measure reported. In essence, the minus sign is ignored because it is expected that there will be a negative inverse relationship between quantity demanded and price.

Be careful not to confuse elasticity with slope. The slope of a line is the change in the value of the variable on the vertical axis divided by the change in the value of the variable on the horizontal axis between two points.

Elasticity is the ratio of the percentage changes.

The slope of a demand curve, for example, is the ratio of the change in price to the change in quantity between two points on the curve.

The price elasticity of demand is the ratio of the percentage change in quantity to the percentage change in price.

As we will see, when computing elasticity at different points on a linear demand curve, the slope is constantâ€”that is, it does not changeâ€”but the value for elasticity will change.

Computing the Price Elasticity of Demand Finding the price elasticity of demand requires that we first compute percentage changes in price and in quantity demanded.

We calculate those changes between two points on a demand curve. We see that at the new price, the quantity demanded rises to 60, rides per day point B. To compute the elasticity, we need to compute the percentage changes in price and in quantity demanded between points A and B.

We measure the percentage change between two points as the change in the variable divided by the average value of the variable between the two points.Elasticity of supply works similarly.

If a change in price results in a big change in the amount supplied, the supply curve appears flatter and is considered elastic.

Price Elastic Demand Definition: Demand is price elastic if a change in price leads to a bigger % change in demand; therefore the PED will, therefore, be greater than 1.

Goods which are elastic, tend to have some or all of the following characteristics. If a small change in price results in a big change in the amount supplied, the supply curve appears flatter and is considered elastic.

Elasticity in this case would be greater than or equal to one.

Price elasticity of demand measures the responsiveness of demand after a change in a product's own price. Price elasticity of demand - key factors This is perhaps the most important microeconomic concept that you will come across in your initial studies of economics.

Elasticity is a term used a lot in economics to describe the way one thing changes in a given environment in response to another variable that has a changed value.

For example, the quantity of a specific product sold each month changes in response to the manufacturer alters the product's price.

Economics and finance So let me write, very elastic. If a given change in price-- given price change you have-- and we'll talk about percentages in a little bit. But a given change in price, you have a large change in demand-- so large percentage change.

And let me just speak in terms of percentage.

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Economics Basics: Elasticity