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Elasticity of Demand

 Demand Elasticity: A measure that shows how a change in

quantity demanded responds to a change in price.

• Demand is elastic when a given change in price causes a

relatively larger change in quantity demanded.

• Demand is inelastic when a given change in price causes a

relatively smaller change in the quantity demanded.

Demand Elasticity
Variation of Elastic Unit Elastic Inelastic
Price > 1 = 1 <1
Increase of Decrease of Expense Increase of
price Expense doesn’t change Expense
Decrease of Increase of Expense Decrease of
price Expense doesn’t change Expense

Formula to Determine Price Elasticity of Demand

Initial Price = P1
Final Price = P2
Initial Quantity = Q1
Final Quantity= Q2

(Q2 - Q1)
PEoD = (Q1 + Q2) / 2
(P2 – P1)
(P1 + P2) / 2

When we analyze price elasticities we're concerned with their

absolute value, so we ignore the negative value.
Examples:

(Q2 - Q1) (4-2) 2

PEoD = (Q1 + Q2) / 2 = (2+4) /2 = 3 = .666 = -1.6
(P2 – P1) (2-3) -1 -.4
(P1 + P2) / 2 (3+2)/2 2.5

= | -1.6 | = 1.6

1.6 > 1, means it is elastic demand.

Here you can prove the demand is inelastic because:

(Q2 - Q1) (2.5-2) .5

PEoD = (Q1 + Q2) / 2 = (2+2.5) /2 = 2.25 = .2222 = -.55
(P2 – P1) (2-3) -1 -.4
(P1 + P2) / 2 (3+2)/2 2.5

= | -.55 | = .55

.55 < 1, means it is inelastic demand.

Here you can prove the demand is unit elastic because:

(Q2 - Q1) (3-2) 1

PEoD = (Q1 + Q2) / 2 = (2+3) /2 = 2.5 = 4 = -1
(P2 – P1) (2-3) -1 -4
(P1 + P2) / 2 (3+2)/2 2.5

= | -1 | = 1

1 = 1 = Unit Elastic demand

Airlines in the United States generally do not offer reduced
round-trip airfares during holidays such as Easter,
Thanksgiving, and Christmas. What can you conclude about
the elasticity of demand for airplane travel at these times?

The elasticity of demand for airplane travel at these times is

Inelastic. If you are willing to travel by plane in these dates, you will
buy the ticket no matter which is the price.
Inelastic demand says that an increase in price means an increase
in expense, and a decrease in price means a decrease in expense.

A hamburger stand raised the price of its hamburgers from

\$2.00 to \$2.50. As a result, its sales of hamburgers fell from 200
per day to 180 per day. Was the demand for its hamburgers
elastic or inelastic? Why?

These means that the demand of this product is inelastic because

the increase in price caused an increase in total expenditure.

Proof:
Q1= 200
Q2= 180
P1= 2
P2= 2.5

(Q2 - Q1)
PEoD = (Q1 + Q2) / 2
(P2 – P1)
(P1 + P2) / 2

(180 - 200) -20

PEoD = (200 + 180) / 2 = 190 = -.1053 = -.474
(2.5 – 2) .5 .2222
(2 + 2.5) / 2 2.25

= | -.474 | = .474

.474 < 1, means it is inelastic demand.

Formula to Determine Price Elasticity of Supply

Q1 = Initial Quantity Supplied

Q2 = The New Quantity Supplied
P1 = Initial Price
P2 = New Price

(Q2-Q1)
PEoS= (Q2+Q1)/2
(P2 – P1)
(P2 + P1)/2

When we analyze price elasticities we're concerned with their

absolute value, so we ignore the negative value.

Change in quantity supplied

Type of elasticity
due to a change in price

Inelastic < 1 Less than proportional

Examples:

(Q2-Q1) (6-2) 4
PEoS= (Q2+Q1)/2 = (6+2) /2 = 4 = 1 = 1.5
(P2 – P1) (2-1) 1 .666
(P2 + P1)/2 (2+1) /2 1.5
1.5 > 1 , it is elastic supply

(Q2-Q1) (3-2) 1
PEoS= (Q2+Q1)/2 = (3+2) /2 = 2.5 = .4 = .6
(P2 – P1) (2-1) 1 .666
(P2 + P1)/2 (2+1) /2 1.5
.6 < 1 , it is inelastic supply
(Q2-Q1) (4-2) 2
PEoS= (Q2+Q1)/2 = (4+2) /2 = 3= .666 = 1
(P2 – P1) (2-1) 1 .666
(P2 + P1)/2 (2+1) /2 1.5