Elastic

In: Business and Management

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by a lot. There are many possible reasons for this phenomenon. Buyers might be able to easily substitute away from the good, so that when the price increases, they have little tolerance for the price change. Maybe the buyers don't want the good that much, so a small change in price has a large effect on their demand for the good.

Figure %: Elastic Demand
If demand is very inelastic, then large changes in price won't do very much to the quantity demanded. For instance, whereas a change of 25 cents reduced quantity by 6 units in the elastic curve in the figure above, in the inelastic curve below, a price jump of a full dollar reduces the demand by just 2 units. With inelastic curves, it takes a very big jump in price to change how much demand there is in the graph below. Possible explanations for this situation could be that the good is an essential good that is not easily substituted for by other goods. That is, for a good with an inelastic curve, customers really want or really need the good, and they can't get want that good offers from anywhere else. This means that consumers will need to buy the same amount of the good from week to week, regardless of the price.

Figure %: Inelastic Demand
Like demand, supply also has varying degrees of responsiveness to price, which we refer to as price elasticity of supply, or the elasticity of supply. An inelastic supplier (one with a steeper supply curve) will always supply the same amount of goods, regardless of the price, and an elastic supplier (one with a flatter supply curve) will change quantity supplied in response to changes in price.

How Is Elasticity Measured?

As we have noted, elasticity can be roughly compared by looking at the relative steepness or flatness of a supply or demand curve. Thus, it makes sense that the formula for calculating elasticity is similar to the formula used for calculating…...

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