# 2011 Pearson Education. Elasticities of Demand and Supply: Today add elasticity and slope, cross elasticities

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1 2011 Pearson Education Elasticities of Demand and Supply: Today add elasticity and slope, cross elasticities

2 What Determines Elasticity? Influences on the price elasticity of demand fall into two categories: Availability of substitutes Proportion of income spent Availability of Substitutes The demand for a good is elastic if a substitute for it is easy to find. The demand for a good is inelastic if a substitute for it is hard to find.

3 When are Substitutes Available? Luxury Versus Necessity A necessity has poor substitutes, so the demand for a necessity is inelastic. Food is a necessity. A luxury has many substitutes, so the demand for a luxury is elastic. Exotic vacations are luxuries. Narrowness of Definition The demand for a narrowly defined good is elastic. The demand for a broadly defined good is inelastic. Not many substitutes for food but many for bread and even more for sourdough bread.

4 What Determines Elasticity? Time Elapsed Since Price Changed The longer the time elapsed since the price change, the more elastic is the demand for the good. Proportion of Income Spent A price rise, like a decrease in income, means that people cannot afford to buy the same quantities. The greater the proportion of income spent on a good, the more elastic is the demand for the good.

5 Tricky Bit Warning: Elasticity is NOT Slope Elasticity is measured by percentage changes Slope is NOT Elasticity changes along a straight line D curve Slope does NOT

6 Where is Demand Elastic? Along a linear demand curve, demand is: Unit elastic at the midpoint of the curve. Elastic above the midpoint of the curve. Inelastic below the midpoint of the curve.

7 How Elasticity Changes along a Demand Curve 1. At any price above the midpoint, demand is elastic. 2. At the midpoint, demand is unit elastic. 3. At any price below the midpoint, demand is inelastic.

8 Elasticity along the Demand Curve Why does this happen? Remember the definition of elasticity 1. At A, q is low so % change in q is high 2. At A, p is high, so % change in p is low 3. So % change in q divided by % change in p is high divided by low : here >1

9 Elasticity along the Demand Curve Why does this happen? Remember the definition of elasticity 1. At A, q is low so % change in q is high 2. At A, p is high, so % change in p is low 3. So % change in q divided by % change in p is high divided by low : here >1

10 Elasticity along the Demand Curve Why does this happen? Remember the definition of elasticity 1. At B, q is high so % change in q is low 2. At B, p is low, so % change in p is high 3. So % change in q divided by % change in p is low divided by high : here <1

11 Elasticity along the demand curve

12 Elasticity and Total Revenue (TR) TR affected by elasticity Definition: TR is amount spent on a good and received by its sellers; Price of the good multiplied by the quantity of the good sold (from now on p x q).

13 Elasticity and TR If demand is elastic: A given percentage rise in price brings a larger percentage decrease in the quantity demanded. Total revenue decreases. If demand is inelastic: A given percentage rise in price brings a smaller percentage decrease in the quantity demanded. Total revenue increases.

14 Total Revenue Test If price and total revenue change in opposite directions, demand is elastic. Example: p falls by 10%, q rises by 15%, TR rises. Percentage increase in q more than makes up for p fall.

15 Total Revenue Test If a price change leaves total revenue unchanged, demand is unit elastic. Example: p falls by 10%, q rises by 10%, TR stays the same. Percentage increase in q just enough to make up for p fall.

16 Total Revenue Test If price and total revenue change in the same direction, demand is inelastic. Example: p falls by 10%, q rises by 5%, TR falls. Percentage increase in q not enough to make up for p fall.

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18 Elasticity and TR Graphically Case: total revenue and inelastic demand. Compare revenue at p = \$50 to p = \$75 At p = \$50 TR = At p = \$75 TR =

19 How We Use Elasticity Orange Prices and Total Revenue Price elasticity of demand for agricultural products (oranges) is 0.4. So if a frost cuts the supply of oranges (and demand doesn t change), a 1 percent decrease in the quantity harvested will lead to a 2.5 percent rise in the price. Demand is inelastic and farmers total revenue will increase.

20 Cases of Supply Elasticity Note they are the same as for demand Supply is perfectly elastic if an almost zero percentage change in price brings a very large percentage change in the quantity supplied. Supply is elastic if the percentage change in the quantity supplied exceeds the percentage change in price.

21 Cases of Supply Elasticity Supply is unit elastic if the % change in the quantity supplied = the percentage change in price. Supply is inelastic if the % change in the quantity supplied < the percentage change in price. Supply is perfectly inelastic if the % change in the quantity supplied = 0 when the price changes.

22 Perfectly Elastic Supply 1. A small rise in the the price, 2. Increases the quantity supplied by a very large amount, 3. Supply is perfectly elastic.

23 Elastic Supply Price rises from 95 to 105 Quantity rises from 90 to 110 Elasticity = The supply of books is elastic.

24 Influences on the Price Elasticity of Supply The two main influences are: Production possibilities Storage possibilities Production Possibilities Goods that can be produced at a constant (or very gently rising) opportunity cost have an elastic supply. Goods that can be produced in only a fixed quantity have a perfectly inelastic supply.

25 Influences on the Elasticity of Supply Time Elapsed Since Price Change As time passes after a price change, producers find it easier to change their production plans, so supply becomes more elastic. Storage Possibilities The supply of a storable good is highly elastic. The cost of storage is the main influence on the elasticity of supply of a storable good.

26 Computing the Price Elasticity of Supply Equivalent definition to elasticity of demand Price elasticity of supply = Percentage change in quantity supplied Percentage change in quantity price If the price elasticity of supply is greater than 1, supply is elastic. The cases for price elasticity = or < 1 also have the same interpretation as for demand elasticity.

27 More Types of Elasticity: Cross Elasticity Cross Elasticity of Demand Measure of the extent to which the quantity demanded of a good changes when the price of a substitute or complement changes, other things remaining the same Cross elasticity of demand = Percentage change in quantity demanded of a good Percentage change in the price of one of its substitutes or complements

28 Cross Elasticity Suppose that when the price of a burger falls by 10 percent, the quantity of pizza demanded decreases by 5 percent. Cross elasticity of demand 5 percent = = percent

29 Cross Elasticity of Substitutes vs. Complements The cross elasticity of demand for a substitute is positive. A fall in the price of a substitute of the good brings a decrease in the quantity demanded of the good. The quantity demanded of the good and the price of its substitute change in the same direction. Make sure you know how this works for complements too!

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31 Income Elasticity of Demand A measure of the extent to which the demand for a good changes when income changes, other things remaining the same. Income elasticity of demand = Percentage change in quantity demanded Percentage change in income

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