Friday, 22 August 2014

Change in Demand and Increase/Decrease in quantity demanded

Movement and Shift in the Demand Curve

Other things being equal, Demand of a commodity has a negative relationship with the price of the commodity
(Change)Movement in Demand – Movement in demand can be demonstrated as the change in quantity demanded as a result of change in price. Movement is along the same demand curve. When price increases, demand decreases
( Increase/ Decrease)Shift in Demand - changes in other relevant factors other than price cause a shift in demand, that is, a shift of the demand curve to the left or right. Such a shift results in a change in quantity supplied for a given price level. Shift of the demand is called increase or decrease in demand. If the change causes an increase in the quantity demanded at the same price, the demand curve would shift to the right and if the change causes an decrease in the quantity demanded at the same price, the supply curve would shift to the left.
In the above curve, 
  • D = initial demand curve
  • S = initial supply curve
  • D1 = new demand curve
  • This new demand curve shows increase in demand at the same price.
  • It means factors other than price are responsible for an increase in demand.
  • Earlier at P1Q D+S was demanded and now, due to change in factors, QD1 is demanded.

project titles taken

2nd last project taken by ankita's group
last topic by dreamers group

All about demand, supply and elasticities of demand and supply

When a cold wave hits Nagpur, the price of orange juice rises in supermarkets throughout the country. When the weather turns warm in New Delhi every summer, the price of hotel rooms in the area goes down. When a war breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline in the United States rises, and the price of a used Car falls. What do these events have in common? They all show the workings of supply and demand.
Supply and demand are the two words that economists use most often—and for good reason. Supply and demand are the forces that make market economies work. They determine the quantity of each good produced and the price at which it is sold. If you want to know how any event or policy will affect the economy, you must think first about how it will affect supply and demand.
This chapter introduces the theory of supply and demand. It considers how buyers and sellers behave and how they interact with one another. It shows how supply and demand determine prices in a market economy and how prices, in turn, allocate the economy’s scarce resources.
MARKETS AND COMPETITION
COMPETITIVE MARKETS
Markets take many forms. Sometimes markets are highly organized, such as the markets for many agricultural commodities. In these markets, buyers and sellers meet at a specific time and place, where an auctioneer helps set prices and arrange sales.
More often, markets are less organized. For example, consider the market for ice cream in a particular town. Buyers of ice cream do not meet together at any one time. The sellers of ice cream are in different locations and offer somewhat different products. There is no auctioneer calling out the price of ice cream. Each seller posts a price for an ice-cream cone, and each buyer decides how much ice cream to buy at each store.
Even though it is not organized, the group of ice-cream buyers and ice-cream sellers forms a market. Each buyer knows that there are several sellers from which to choose, and each seller is aware that his product is similar to that offered by other sellers. The price of ice cream and the quantity of ice cream sold are not determined by any single buyer or seller. Rather, price and quantity are determined by all buyers and sellers as they interact in the marketplace.
The market for ice cream, like most markets in the economy, is highly competitive. A competitive market is a market in which there are many buyers and many sellers so that each has a negligible impact on the market price. Each seller of ice cream has limited control over the price because other sellers are offering similar products. A seller has little reason to charge less than the going price, and if he or she charges more, buyers will make their purchases elsewhere. Similarly, no single buyer of ice cream can influence the price of ice cream because each buyer purchases only a small amount.
In this chapter we examine how buyers and sellers interact in competitive markets. We see how the forces of supply and demand determine both the quantity of the good sold and its price.
COMPETITION: PERFECT AND OTHERWISE
We assume in this chapter that markets are perfectly competitive. Perfectly competitive markets are defined by two primary characteristics: (1) the goods being offered for sale are all the same, and (2) the buyers and sellers are so numerous that no single buyer or seller can influence the market price. Because buyers and sellers in perfectly competitive markets must accept the price the market determines, they are said to be price takers.
There are some markets in which the assumption of perfect competition applies perfectly. In the wheat market, for example, there are thousands of farmers who sell wheat and millions of consumers who use wheat and wheat products. Because no single buyer or seller can influence the price of wheat, each takes the price as given.
Not all goods and services, however, are sold in perfectly competitive markets.
Some markets have only one seller, and this seller sets the price. Such a seller is called a monopoly. Your local cable television company, for instance, may be a monopoly.
Residents of your town probably have only one cable company from which to buy this service.
Some markets fall between the extremes of perfect competition and monopoly. One such market, called an oligopoly, has a few sellers that do not always compete aggressively. Airline routes are an example. If a route between two cities is serviced by only two or three carriers, the carriers may avoid rigorous competition to keep prices high. Another type of market is monopolistically competitive; it contains many sellers, each offering a slightly different product. Because the products are not exactly the same, each seller has some ability to set the price for its own product. An example is the software industry. Many word processing programs compete with one another for users, but every program is different from every other and has its own price.
Despite the diversity of market types we find in the world, we begin by studying perfect competition. Perfectly competitive markets are the easiest to analyze. Moreover, because some degree of competition is present in most markets, many of the lessons that we learn by studying supply and demand under perfect competition apply in more complicated markets as well.
QUICK QUIZ: What is a market? _ What does it mean for a market to be competitive?
DEMAND
We begin our study of markets by examining the behavior of buyers. Here we consider what determines the quantity demanded of any good, which is the amount of the good that buyers are willing and able to purchase. To focus our thinking, let’s keep in mind a particular good—ice cream.
WHAT DETERMINES THE QUANTITY AN INDIVIDUAL DEMANDS?
Consider your own demand for ice cream. How do you decide how much ice cream to buy each month, and what factors affect your decision? Here are some of the answers you might give.
quantity demanded the amount of a good that buyers are willing and able to purchase
Price If the price of ice cream rose to $20 per scoop, you would buy less ice cream. You might buy frozen yogurt instead. If the price of ice cream fell to $0.20 per scoop, you would buy more. Because the quantity demanded falls as the price rises and rises as the price falls, we say that the quantity demanded is negatively related to the price. This relationship between price and quantity demanded is true for most goods in the economy and, in fact, is so pervasive that economists call it the law of demand: Other things equal, when the price of a good rises, the quantity demanded of the good falls.
Income What would happen to your demand for ice cream if you lost your job one summer? Most likely, it would fall. A lower income means that you have less to spend in total, so you would have to spend less on some—and probably most— goods. If the demand for a good falls when income falls, the good is called a normal good.
Not all goods are normal goods. If the demand for a good rises when income falls, the good is called an inferior good. An example of an inferior good might be bus rides. As your income falls, you are less likely to buy a car or take a cab, and more likely to ride the bus.
Prices of Related Goods Suppose that the price of frozen yogurt falls. The law of demand says that you will buy more frozen yogurt. At the same time, you will probably buy less ice cream. Because ice cream and frozen yogurt are both cold, sweet, creamy desserts, they satisfy similar desires. When a fall in the price of one good reduces the demand for another good, the two goods are called substitutes. Substitutes are often pairs of goods that are used in place of each other, such as hot dogs and hamburgers, sweaters and sweatshirts, and movie tickets and video rentals.
Now suppose that the price of hot fudge falls. According to the law of demand, you will buy more hot fudge. Yet, in this case, you will buy more ice cream as well, because ice cream and hot fudge are often used together. When a fall in the price of one good raises the demand for another good, the two goods are called complements. Complements are often pairs of goods that are used together, such as gasoline and automobiles, computers and software, and skis and ski lift tickets.
Tastes The most obvious determinant of your demand is your tastes. If you like ice cream, you buy more of it. Economists normally do not try to explain people’s tastes because tastes are based on historical and psychological forces that are beyond the realm of economics. Economists do, however, examine what happens when tastes change.
Expectations Your expectations about the future may affect your demand for a good or service today. For example, if you expect to earn a higher income next month, you may be more willing to spend some of your current savings buying ice cream. As another example, if you expect the price of ice cream to fall tomorrow, you may be less willing to buy an ice-cream cone at today’s price.
law of demand the claim that, other things equal, the quantity demanded of a good falls when the price of the good rises
normal good a good for which, other things equal, an increase in income leads to an increase in demand
inferior good a good for which, other things equal, an increase in income leads to a decrease in demand
substitutes two goods for which an increase in the price of one leads to an increase in the demand for the other
complements two goods for which an increase in the price of one leads to a decrease in the demand for the other

THE DEMAND SCHEDULE AND THE DEMAND CURVE
We have seen that many variables determine the quantity of ice cream a person demands. Imagine for the moment that we hold all these variables constant except one—the price. Let’s consider how the price affects the quantity of ice cream demanded.
Table 4-1 shows how many ice-cream cones Catherine buys each month at different prices of ice cream. If ice cream is free, Catherine eats 12 cones. At $0.50 per cone, Catherine buys 10 cones. As the price rises further, she buys fewer and fewer cones. When the price reaches $3.00, Catherine doesn’t buy any ice cream at all.
Table 4-1 is a demand schedule, a table that shows the relationship between the price of a good and the quantity demanded. (Economists use the term schedule because the table, with its parallel columns of numbers, resembles a train schedule.)
Figure 4-1 graphs the numbers in Table 4-1. By convention, the price of ice cream is on the vertical axis, and the quantity of ice cream demanded is on the horizontal axis. The downward-sloping line relating price and quantity demanded is called the demand curve.
CETERIS PARIBUS
Whenever you see a demand curve, remember that it is drawn holding many things constant. Catherine’s demand curve in Figure 4-1 shows what happens to the quantity of ice cream Catherine demands when only the price of ice cream varies. The curve is drawn assuming that Catherine’s income, tastes, expectations, and the prices of related products are not changing.
Economists use the term ceteris paribus to signify that all the relevant variables, except those being studied at that moment, are held constant. The Latin phrase literally means “other things being equal.” The demand curve slopes downward because, ceteris paribus, lower prices mean a greater quantity demanded.
Although the term ceteris paribus refers to a hypothetical situation in which some variables are assumed to be constant, in the real world many things change at the same time. For this reason, when we use the tools of supply and demand to analyze events or policies, it is important to keep in mind what is being held constant and what is not.
PRICE OF ICE-CREAM CONE QUANTITY OF CONES DEMANDED
$0.00                                                       12
0.50                                                         10
1.00                                                         8
1.50                                                         6
2.00                                                         4
2.50                                                         2
3.00                                                         0

Table 4-1
Table 4.1 CATHERINE’S DEMAND SCHEDULE. The demand schedule shows the quantity demanded at each price



MARKET DEMAND VERSUS INDIVIDUAL DEMAND
So far we have talked about an individual’s demand for a product. To analyze how markets work, we need to determine the market demand, which is the sum of all the individual demands for a particular good or service.
Table 4-2 (p. 00) shows the demand schedules for ice cream of two individuals— Catherine and Nicholas. At any price, Catherine’s demand schedule tells us how much ice cream she buys, and Nicholas’s demand schedule tells us how much ice cream he buys. The market demand is the sum of the two individual demands.
Because market demand is derived from individual demands, it depends on all those factors that determine the demand of individual buyers. Thus, market demand depends on buyers’ incomes, tastes, expectations, and the prices of related goods. It also depends on the number of buyers. (If more consumers were to join Catherine and Nicholas, the quantity demanded in the market would be higher at every price.) The demand schedules in Table 4-2 show what happens to quantity demanded as the price varies while all the other variables that determine quantity demanded are held constant.
Figure 4-2 shows the demand curves that correspond to these demand schedules. Notice that we sum the individual demand curves horizontally to obtain the market demand curve. That is, to find the total quantity demanded at any price, we add the individual quantities found on the horizontal axis of the individual demand curves. Because we are interested in analyzing how markets work, we will work most often with the market demand curve. The market demand curve shows how the total quantity demanded of a good varies as the price of the good varies.

Figure 4.2 MARKET DEMAND AS THE SUM OF INDIVIDUAL DEMANDS. The market demand curve is found by adding horizontally the individual demand curves. At a price of $2, Catherine demands 4 ice-cream cones, and Nicholas demands 3 ice-cream cones. The quantity demanded in the market at this price is 7 cones.




Table 4.2 INDIVIDUAL AND MARKET DEMAND SCHEDULES. The quantity demanded in a market is the sum of the quantities demanded by all the buyers.

SHIFTS IN THE DEMAND CURVE
Suppose that the American Medical Association suddenly announces a new discovery: People who regularly eat ice cream live longer, healthier lives. How does this announcement affect the market for ice cream? The discovery changes people’s tastes and raises the demand for ice cream. At any given price, buyers now want to purchase a larger quantity of ice cream, and the demand curve for ice cream shifts to the right.
Whenever any determinant of demand changes, other than the good’s price, the demand curve shifts. As Figure 4-3 shows, any change that increases the quantity demanded at every price shifts the demand curve to the right. Similarly, any change that reduces the quantity demanded at every price shifts the demand curve to the left.

Figure 4.3 SHIFTS IN THE DEMAND CURVE. Any change that raises the quantity that buyers wish to purchase at a given price shifts the demand curve to the right. Any change that lowers the quantity that buyers wish to purchase at a given price shifts the demand curve to the left.


Table 4.3 THE DETERMINANTS OF QUANTITY DEMANDED. This table lists the variables that can influence the quantity demanded in a market. Notice the special role that price plays: A change in the price represents a movement along the demand curve, whereas a change in one of the other variables shifts the demand curve.
Table 4-3 lists the variables that determine the quantity demanded in a market and how a change in the variable affects the demand curve. Notice that price plays a special role in this table. Because price is on the vertical axis when we graph a demand curve, a change in price does not shift the curve but represents a movement along it. By contrast, when there is a change in income, the price of related goods, tastes, expectations, or the number of buyers, the quantity demanded at each price changes; this is represented by a shift in the demand curve.
In summary, the demand curve shows what happens to the quantity demanded of a good when its price varies, holding constant all other determinants of quantity demanded.
SUPPLY
We now turn to the other side of the market and examine the behavior of sellers. The quantity supplied of any good or service is the amount that sellers are willing and able to sell. Once again, to focus our thinking, let’s consider the market for ice cream and look at the factors that determine the quantity supplied.
WHAT DETERMINES THE QUANTITY AN INDIVIDUAL SUPPLIES?
Imagine that you are running Student Sweets, a company that produces and sells ice cream. What determines the quantity of ice cream you are willing to produce and offer for sale? Here are some possible answers.
Price The price of ice cream is one determinant of the quantity supplied. When the price of ice cream is high, selling ice cream is profitable, and so the quantity supplied is large. As a seller of ice cream, you work long hours, buy many ice cream machines, and hire many workers. By contrast, when the price of ice cream is low, your business is less profitable, and so you will produce less ice cream. At an even lower price, you may choose to go out of business altogether, and your quantity supplied falls to zero.
Because the quantity supplied rises as the price rises and falls as the price falls, we say that the quantity supplied is positively related to the price of the good. This relationship between price and quantity supplied is called the law of supply: Other things equal, when the price of a good rises, the quantity supplied of the good also rises.
Input Prices To produce its output of ice cream, Student Sweets uses various inputs: cream, sugar, flavoring, ice-cream machines, the buildings in which the ice cream is made, and the labor of workers to mix the ingredients and operate the machines. When the price of one or more of these inputs rises, producing ice cream is less profitable, and your firm supplies less ice cream. If input prices rise substantially, you might shut down your firm and supply no ice cream at all. Thus, the supply of a good is negatively related to the price of the inputs used to make the good.
Technology The technology for turning the inputs into ice cream is yet another determinant of supply. The invention of the mechanized ice-cream machine, for example, reduced the amount of labor necessary to make ice cream. By reducing firms’ costs, the advance in technology raised the supply of ice cream.
Expectations The amount of ice cream you supply today may depend on your expectations of the future. For example, if you expect the price of ice cream to rise in the future, you will put some of your current production into storage and supply less to the market today.
quantity supplied the amount of a good that sellers are willing and able to sell
THE SUPPLY SCHEDULE AND THE SUPPLY CURVE
Consider how the quantity supplied varies with the price, holding input prices, technology, and expectations constant. Table 4-4 shows the quantity supplied by Ben, an ice-cream seller, at various prices of ice cream. At a price below $1.00, Ben does not supply any ice cream at all. As the price rises, he supplies a greater and greater quantity. This table is called the supply schedule.
Figure 4-5 graphs the relationship between the quantity of ice cream supplied and the price. The curve relating price and quantity supplied is called the supply curve. The supply curve slopes upward because, ceteris paribus, a higher price means a greater quantity supplied.
MARKET SUPPLY VERSUS INDIVIDUAL SUPPLY
Just as market demand is the sum of the demands of all buyers, market supply is the sum of the supplies of all sellers. Table 4-5 shows the supply schedules for two ice-cream producers—Ben and Jerry. At any price, Ben’s supply schedule tells us the quantity of ice cream Ben supplies, and Jerry’s supply schedule tells us the quantity of ice cream Jerry supplies. The market supply is the sum of the two individual supplies.
Market supply depends on all those factors that influence the supply of individual sellers, such as the prices of inputs used to produce the good, the available technology, and expectations. In addition, the supply in a market depends on the number of sellers. (If Ben or Jerry were to retire from the ice-cream business, the supply in the market would fall.) The supply schedules in Table 4-5 show what happens to quantity supplied as the price varies while all the other variables that determine quantity supplied are held constant.

Table 4.5 INDIVIDUAL AND MARKET SUPPLY SCHEDULES. The quantity supplied in a market is the sum of the quantities supplied by all the sellers.


BEN’S SUPPLY CURVE. This supply curve, which graphs the supply schedule in Table 4-4, shows how the quantity supplied of the good changes as its price varies. Because a higher price increases the quantity supplied, the supply curve slopes upward.
Figure 4-6 shows the supply curves that correspond to the supply schedules in Table 4-5. As with demand curves, we sum the individual supply curves horizontally to obtain the market supply curve. That is, to find the total quantity supplied at any price, we add the individual quantities found on the horizontal axis of the individual supply curves. The market supply curve shows how the total quantity supplied varies as the price of the good varies.

SHIFTS IN THE SUPPLY CURVE
Suppose that the price of sugar falls. How does this change affect the supply of ice cream? Because sugar is an input into producing ice cream, the fall in the price of sugar makes selling ice cream more profitable. This raises the supply of ice cream: At any given price, sellers are now willing to produce a larger quantity. Thus, the supply curve for ice cream shifts to the right.
Whenever there is a change in any determinant of supply, other than the good’s price, the supply curve shifts. As Figure 4-7 shows, any change that raises quantity supplied at every price shifts the supply curve to the right. Similarly, any change that reduces the quantity supplied at every price shifts the supply curve to the left.
Table 4-6 lists the variables that determine the quantity supplied in a market and how a change in the variable affects the supply curve. Once again, price plays a special role in the table. Because price is on the vertical axis when we graph a supply curve, a change in price does not shift the curve but represents a movement along it. By contrast, when there is a change in input prices, technology, expectations, or the number of sellers, the quantity supplied at each price changes; this is represented by a shift in the supply curve.
 In summary, the supply curve shows what happens to the quantity supplied of a good when its price varies, holding constant all other determinants of quantity supplied. When one of these other determinants changes, the supply curve shifts.


ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION
Imagine yourself as a Kansas wheat farmer. Because you earn all your income from selling wheat, you devote much effort to making your land as productive as it can be. You monitor weather and soil conditions, check your fields for pests and disease, and study the latest advances in farm technology. You know that the more wheat you grow, the more you will have to sell after the harvest, and the higher will be your income and your standard of living.
One day Kansas State University announces a major discovery. Researchers in  its agronomy department have devised a new hybrid of wheat that raises the amount farmers can produce from each acre of land by 20 percent. How should you react to this news? Should you use the new hybrid? Does this discovery make you better off or worse off than you were before? In this chapter we will see that these questions can have surprising answers. The surprise will come from applying the most basic tools of economics—supply and demand—to the market
for wheat.
The previous chapter introduced supply and demand. In any competitive market, such as the market for wheat, the upward-sloping supply curve represents the behavior of sellers, and the downward-sloping demand curve represents the behavior of buyers. The price of the good adjusts to bring the quantity supplied and quantity demanded of the good into balance. To apply this basic analysis to understand the impact of the agronomists’ discovery, we must first develop one more tool: the concept of elasticity. Elasticity, a measure of how much buyers and sellers respond to changes in market conditions, allows us to analyze supply and demand with greater precision.

THE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND
When we discussed the determinants of demand , we noted that buyers usually demand more of a good when its price is lower, when their incomes are higher, when the prices of substitutes for the good are higher, or when the prices of complements of the good are lower. Our discussion of demand was qualitative, not quantitative. That is, we discussed the direction in which the quantity demanded moves, but not the size of the change. To measure how much demand responds to changes in its determinants, economists use the concept of elasticity.
THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND AND ITS DETERMINANTS
The law of demand states that a fall in the price of a good raises the quantity demanded. The price elasticity of demand measures how much the quantity demanded responds to a change in price. Demand for a good is said to be elastic if the quantity demanded responds substantially to changes in the price. Demand is said to be inelastic if the quantity demanded responds only slightly to changes in the price.
What determines whether the demand for a good is elastic or inelastic? Because the demand for any good depends on consumer preferences, the price elasticity  of demand depends on the many economic, social, and psychological forces that shape individual desires. Based on experience, however, we can state some general rules about what determines the price elasticity of demand.
Necessities versus Luxuries Necessities tend to have inelastic demands, whereas luxuries have elastic demands. When the price of a visit to the doctor rises, people will not dramatically alter the number of times they go to the doctor, although they might go somewhat less often. By contrast, when the price of sailboats rises, the quantity of sailboats demanded falls substantially. The reason is that most people view doctor visits as a necessity and sailboats as a luxury. Of course, whether a good is a necessity or a luxury depends not on the intrinsic
properties of the good but on the preferences of the buyer. For an avid sailor with little concern over his health, sailboats might be a necessity with inelastic demand and doctor visits a luxury with elastic demand.

elasticity a measure of the responsiveness of quantity demanded or quantity supplied to one of its determinants
price elasticity of demand a measure of how much the quantity demanded of a good responds to a change in the price of that good, computed as the percentage change in quantity demanded divided by the percentage change in price

Availability of Close Substitutes Goods with close substitutes tend to have more elastic demand because it is easier for consumers to switch from that good to others. For example, butter and margarine are easily substitutable. A small increase in the price of butter, assuming the price of margarine is held fixed, causes the quantity of butter sold to fall by a large amount. By contrast, because eggs are a food without a close substitute, the demand for eggs is probably less elastic than the demand for butter.
Definition of the Market The elasticity of demand in any market depends on how we draw the boundaries of the market. Narrowly defined markets tend to have more elastic demand than broadly defined markets, because it is easier to find close substitutes for narrowly defined goods. For example, food, a broad category, has a fairly inelastic demand because there are no good substitutes for food. Ice cream, a more narrow category, has a more elastic demand because it is easy to substitute other desserts for ice cream. Vanilla ice cream, a very narrow category, has a very elastic demand because other flavors of ice cream are almost perfect substitutes for vanilla.
Time Horizon Goods tend to have more elastic demand over longer time horizons. When the price of gasoline rises, the quantity of gasoline demanded falls only slightly in the first few months. Over time, however, people buy more fuel efficient cars, switch to public transportation, and move closer to where they work. Within several years, the quantity of gasoline demanded falls substantially.
COMPUTING THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND
Now that we have discussed the price elasticity of demand in general terms, let’s be more precise about how it is measured. Economists compute the price elasticity of demand as the percentage change in the quantity demanded divided by the percentage change in the price. That is,
For example, suppose that a 10-percent increase in the price of an ice-cream cone causes the amount of ice cream you buy to fall by 20 percent. We calculate your elasticity of demand as
In this example, the elasticity is 2, reflecting that the change in the quantity demanded is proportionately twice as large as the change in the price.
Because the quantity demanded of a good is negatively related to its price, the percentage change in quantity will always have the opposite sign as the percentage change in price. In this example, the percentage change in price is a positive 10 percent (reflecting an increase), and the percentage change in quantity demanded is a negative 20 percent (reflecting a decrease). For this reason, price elasticities of demand are sometimes reported as negative numbers. In this book we follow the common practice of dropping the minus sign and reporting all price elasticities as positive numbers. (Mathematicians call this the absolute value.) With this convention, a larger price elasticity implies a greater responsiveness of quantity demanded to price.
THE MIDPOINT METHOD: A BETTER WAY TO CALCULATE PERCENTAGE CHANGES AND ELASTICITIES
If you try calculating the price elasticity of demand between two points on a demand curve, you will quickly notice an annoying problem: The elasticity from point A to point B seems different from the elasticity from point B to point A. For example, consider these numbers:
Point A: Price _ $4 Quantity _ 120 Point B: Price _ $6 Quantity _ 80
Going from point A to point B, the price rises by 50 percent, and the quantity falls by 33 percent, indicating that the price elasticity of demand is 33/50, or 0.66. By contrast, going from point B to point A, the price falls by 33 percent, and the quantity rises by 50 percent, indicating that the price elasticity of demand is 50/33, or 1.5.
One way to avoid this problem is to use the midpoint method for calculating elasticities. Rather than computing a percentage change using the standard way (by dividing the change by the initial level), the midpoint method computes a percentage change by dividing the change by the midpoint of the initial and final levels. For instance, $5 is the midpoint of $4 and $6. Therefore, according to the midpoint method, a change from $4 to $6 is considered a 40 percent rise, because (6 _ 4)/5 _ 100 _ 40. Similarly, a change from $6 to $4 is considered a 40 percent fall.
Because the midpoint method gives the same answer regardless of the direction of change, it is often used when calculating the price elasticity of demand between two points. In our example, the midpoint between point A and point B is:
Midpoint: Price _ $5 Quantity _ 100
According to the midpoint method, when going from point A to point B, the price rises by 40 percent, and the quantity falls by 40 percent. Similarly, when going from point B to point A, the price falls by 40 percent, and the quantity rises by 40 percent. In both directions, the price elasticity of demand equals 1.
We can express the midpoint method with the following formula for the price elasticity of demand between two points, denoted (Q1, P1) and (Q2, P2):
Price elasticity of demand _ .
(Q2 _ Q1)/[(Q2 _ Q1)/2]
(P2 _ P1)/[(P2 _ P1)/2]
The numerator is the percentage change in quantity computed using the midpoint method, and the denominator is the percentage change in price computed using the midpoint method. If you ever need to calculate elasticities, you should use this formula.
Throughout this book, however, we only rarely need to perform such calculations. For our purposes, what elasticity represents—the responsiveness of quantity demanded to price—is more important than how it is calculated.
THE VARIETY OF DEMAND CURVES
Economists classify demand curves according to their elasticity. Demand is elastic when the elasticity is greater than 1, so that quantity moves proportionately more than the price. Demand is inelastic when the elasticity is less than 1, so that quantity moves proportionately less than the price. If the elasticity is exactly 1, so that quantity moves the same amount proportionately as price, demand is said to have unit elasticity.
Because the price elasticity of demand measures how much quantity demanded responds to changes in the price, it is closely related to the slope of the demand curve. The following rule of thumb is a useful guide: The flatter is the demand curve that passes through a given point, the greater is the price elasticity of demand. The steeper is the demand curve that passes through a given point, the smaller is the price elasticity of demand.
Figure 5-1 shows five cases. In the extreme case of a zero elasticity, demand is perfectly inelastic, and the demand curve is vertical. In this case, regardless of the price, the quantity demanded stays the same. As the elasticity rises, the demand curve gets flatter and flatter. At the opposite extreme, demand is perfectly elastic. This occurs as the price elasticity of demand approaches infinity and the demand curve becomes horizontal, reflecting the fact that very small changes in the price lead to huge changes in the quantity demanded.
Finally, if you have trouble keeping straight the terms elastic and inelastic, here’s a memory trick for you: Inelastic curves, such as in panel (a) of Figure 5-1, look like the letter I. Elastic curves, as in panel (e), look like the letter E. This is not a deep insight, but it might help on your next exam.
TOTAL REVENUE AND THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND
When studying changes in supply or demand in a market, one variable we often want to study is total revenue, the amount paid by buyers and received by sellers of the good. In any market, total revenue is P X Q, the price of the good times the quantity of the good sold. We can show total revenue graphically, as in Figure 5-2. The height of the box under the demand curve is P, and the width is Q. The area of this box, PX Q, equals the total revenue in this market. In Figure 5-2, where PX$4 and Q X100, total revenue is $4 X 100, or $400.
How does total revenue change as one moves along the demand curve? The answer depends on the price elasticity of demand. If demand is inelastic, as in Figure 5-3, then an increase in the price causes an increase in total revenue.
Here an increase in price from $1 to $3 causes the quantity demanded to fall only from 100 to 80, and so total revenue rises from $100 to $240. An increase in price raises P X Q because the fall in Q is proportionately smaller than the rise in P.
Although the examples in these two figures are extreme, they illustrate a general rule:
_ When a demand curve is inelastic (a price elasticity less than 1), a price increase raises total revenue, and a price decrease reduces total revenue.
_ When a demand curve is elastic (a price elasticity greater than 1), a price increase reduces total revenue, and a price decrease raises total revenue.
_ In the special case of unit elastic demand (a price elasticity exactly equal To 1), a change in the price does not affect total revenue.

Figure 5-1THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND. The price elasticity of demand determines whether the demand curve is steep or flat. Note that all percentage changes are calculated using the midpoint method.

Figure 5-2 TOTAL REVENUE. The total amount paid by buyers, and  received as revenue by sellers,equals the area of the box under the demand curve, P XQ. Here, at a price of $4, the quantity demanded is 100, and total revenue is $400.



Figure 5-3 HOW TOTAL REVENUE CHANGES WHEN PRICE CHANGES: INELASTIC DEMAND. With an inelastic demand curve, an increase in the price leads to a decrease in quantity demanded that is proportionately smaller. Therefore, total revenue (the product of price and quantity) increases. Here, an increase in the price from $1 to $3 causes the quantity demanded to fall from 100 to 80, and total revenue rises from $100 to $240.

Figure 5.4 HOW TOTAL REVENUE CHANGES WHEN PRICE CHANGES: ELASTIC DEMAND. With an elastic demand curve, an increase in the price leads to a decrease in quantity demanded that is proportionately larger. Therefore, total revenue (the product of price and quantity) decreases. Here, an increase in the price from $4 to $5 causes the quantity demanded to fall from 50 to 20, so total revenue falls from $200 to $100.
ELASTICITY AND TOTAL REVENUE ALONG A LINEAR DEMAND CURVE
Although some demand curves have an elasticity that is the same along the entire curve, that is not always the case. An example of a demand curve along which elasticity changes is a straight line, as shown in Figure 5-5. A linear demand curve has a constant slope. Recall that slope is defined as “rise over run,” which here is the ratio of the change in price (“rise”) to the change in quantity (“run”). This particular demand curve’s slope is constant because each $1 increase in price causes the same 2-unit decrease in the quantity demanded.
Even though the slope of a linear demand curve is constant, the elasticity is not. The reason is that the slope is the ratio of changes in the two variables, whereas the elasticity is the ratio of percentage changes in the two variables. You can see this most easily by looking at Table 5-1. This table shows the demand schedule for the linear demand curve in Figure 5-5 and calculates the price elasticity of demand using the midpoint method discussed earlier. At points with low price and high quantity, the demand curve is inelastic. At points with a high price and low quantity, the demand curve is elastic.
Table 5-1 also presents total revenue at each point on the demand curve. These numbers illustrate the relationship between total revenue and elasticity. When the price is $1, for instance, demand is inelastic, and a price increase to $2 raises total revenue. When the price is $5, demand is elastic, and a price increase to $6 reduces total revenue. Between $3 and $4, demand is exactly unit elastic, and total revenue is the same at these two prices.
OTHER DEMAND ELASTICITIES
In addition to the price elasticity of demand, economists also use other elasticities to describe the behavior of buyers in a market.
income elasticity of demand
a measure of how much the quantity demanded of a good responds to a change in consumers’ income, computed as the percentage change in quantity demanded divided by the percentage change in income
The Income Elasticity of Demand Economists use the income elasticity of demand to measure how the quantity demanded changes as consumer income changes. The income elasticity is the percentage change in quantity demanded divided by the percentage change in income. That is,

As we discussed in Chapter 4, most goods are normal goods: Higher income raises quantity demanded. Because quantity demanded and income move in the same direction, normal goods have positive income elasticities. A few goods, such as bus rides, are inferior goods: Higher income lowers the quantity demanded. Because quantity demanded and income move in opposite directions, inferior goods have negative income elasticities.
Even among normal goods, income elasticities vary substantially in size. Necessities, such as food and clothing, tend to have small income elasticities because consumers, regardless of how low their incomes, choose to buy some of these goods. Luxuries, such as caviar and furs, tend to have large income elasticities because consumers feel that they can do without these goods altogether if their income is too low.
The Cross-Price Elasticity of Demand Economists use the crossprice elasticity of demand to measure how the quantity demanded of one good changes as the price of another good changes. It is calculated as the percentage
change in quantity demanded of good 1 divided by the percentage change in the price of good 2. That is,


Whether the cross-price elasticity is a positive or negative number depends on whether the two goods are substitutes or complements. As we discussed in Chapter 4, substitutes are goods that are typically used in place of one another, such as hamburgers and hot dogs. An increase in hot dog prices induces people to grill hamburgers instead. Because the price of hot dogs and the quantity of hamburgers demanded move in the same direction, the cross-price elasticity is positive. Conversely, complements are goods that are typically used together, such as computers and software. In this case, the cross-price elasticity is negative, indicating that an increase in the price of computers reduces the quantity of software demanded.
THE ELASTICITY OF SUPPLY
When we discussed the determinants of supply in Chapter 4, we noted that sellers of a good increase the quantity supplied when the price of the good rises, when their input prices fall, or when their technology improves. To turn from qualitative to quantitative statements about supply, we once again use the concept of elasticity.
THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF SUPPLY AND ITS DETERMINANTS
The law of supply states that higher prices raise the quantity supplied. The price elasticity of supply measures how much the quantity supplied responds to changes in the price. Supply of a good is said to be elastic if the quantity supplied respondssubstantially to changes in the price. Supply is said to be inelastic if the quantity supplied responds only slightly to changes in the price.
The price elasticity of supply depends on the flexibility of sellers to change the amount of the good they produce. For example, beachfront land has an inelastic supply because it is almost impossible to produce more of it. By contrast, manufactured goods, such as books, cars, and televisions, have elastic supplies because the firms that produce them can run their factories longer in response to a higher price. In most markets, a key determinant of the price elasticity of supply is the time period being considered. Supply is usually more elastic in the long run than in the short run. Over short periods of time, firms cannot easily change the size of their factories to make more or less of a good. Thus, in the short run, the quantity supplied is not very responsive to the price. By contrast, over longer periods, firms can build new factories or close old ones. In addition, new firms can enter a market, and old firms can shut down. Thus, in the long run, the quantity supplied can respond substantially to the price.
COMPUTING THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF SUPPLY
Now that we have some idea about what the price elasticity of supply is, let’s be more precise. Economists compute the price elasticity of supply as the percentage change in the quantity supplied divided by the percentage change in the price.
That is,


For example, suppose that an increase in the price of milk from $2.85 to $3.15 a gallon raises the amount that dairy farmers produce from 9,000 to 11,000 gallons per month. Using the midpoint method, we calculate the percentage change in price as Percentage change in price =(3.15 -2.85)/3.00X 100 = 10 percent. Similarly, we calculate the percentage change in quantity supplied as
Percentage change in quantity supplied = (11,000 -9,000)/10,000X 100= 20 percent.
In this case, the price elasticity of supply is
Price elasticity of supply  =20%/10%=2.0.
In this example, the elasticity of 2 reflects the fact that the quantity supplied moves proportionately twice as much as the price.
THE VARIETY OF SUPPLY CURVES
Because the price elasticity of supply measures the responsiveness of quantity supplied to the price, it is reflected in the appearance of the supply curve. Figure 5-6 shows five cases. In the extreme case of a zero elasticity, supply is perfectly inelastic, and the supply curve is vertical. In this case, the quantity supplied is the same regardless of the price. As the elasticity rises, the supply curve gets flatter, which shows that the quantity supplied responds more to changes in the price. At the opposite extreme, supply is perfectly elastic. This occurs as the price elasticity of supply approaches infinity and the supply curve becomes horizontal, meaning that very small changes in the price lead to very large changes in the quantity supplied. In some markets, the elasticity of supply is not constant but varies over the supply curve. Figure 5-7 shows a typical case for an industry in which firms have factories with a limited capacity for production. For low levels of quantity supplied, the elasticity of supply is high, indicating that firms respond substantially to changes in the price. In this region, firms have capacity for production that is not being used, such as plants and equipment sitting idle for all or part of the day.
Small increases in price make it profitable for firms to begin using this idle capacity. As the quantity supplied rises, firms begin to reach capacity. Once capacity is fully used, increasing production further requires the construction of new plants.
To induce firms to incur this extra expense, the price must rise substantially, so supply becomes less elastic. Figure 5-7 presents a numerical example of this phenomenon. When the price rises from $3 to $4 (a 29 percent increase, according to the midpoint method), the quantity supplied rises from 100 to 200 (a 67 percent increase). Because quantity supplied moves proportionately more than the price, the supply curve has elasticity greater than 1. By contrast, when the price rises from $12 to $15 (a 22 percent increase), the quantity supplied rises from 500 to 525 (a 5 percent increase). In this case, quantity supplied moves proportionately less than the price, so the elasticity is less than 1.



Figure 5-7
HOW THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF SUPPLY CAN VARY. Because firms often have a maximum capacity for production, the elasticity of supply may be very high at low levels of quantity supplied and very low at high levels of quantity supplied. Here, an increase in price from $3 to $4 increases the quantity supplied from 100 to 200. Because the increase in quantity supplied of 100 percent is larger than the increase in price of 33 percent, the supply curve is elastic in this range. By contrast, when the price rises from $12 to $15, the quantity supplied rises only from 500 to 525. Because the increase in quantity supplied of 5 percent is smaller than the increase in price of 25 percent, the supply curve is inelastic in this range.
THREE APPLICATIONS OF SUPPLY, DEMAND, AND ELASTICITY
Can good news for farming be bad news for farmers? Why did the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fail to keep the price of oil high? Does drug interdiction increase or decrease drug-related crime? At first, these questions might seem to have little in common. Yet all three questions are about markets, and all markets are subject to the forces of supply and demand. Here we apply the versatile tools of supply, demand, and elasticity to answer these seemingly complex questions.
CAN GOOD NEWS FOR FARMING BE BAD NEWS FOR FARMERS?
Let’s now return to the question posed at the beginning of this chapter: What happens to wheat farmers and the market for wheat when university agronomists discover a new wheat hybrid that is more productive than existing varieties? Recall from Chapter 4 that we answer such questions in three steps. First, we examine whether the supply curve or demand curve shifts. Second, we consider which direction the curve shifts. Third, we use the supply-and-demand diagram to see how the market equilibrium changes.
In this case, the discovery of the new hybrid affects the supply curve. Because the hybrid increases the amount of wheat that can be produced on each acre of land, farmers are now willing to supply more wheat at any given price. In other words, the supply curve shifts to the right. The demand curve remains the same because consumers’ desire to buy wheat products at any given price is not affected by the introduction of a new hybrid. Figure 5-8 shows an example of such a change. When the supply curve shifts from S1 to S2, the quantity of wheat sold increases from 100 to 110, and the price of wheat falls from $3 to $2.
But does this discovery make farmers better off? As a first cut to answering this question, consider what happens to the total revenue received by farmers. Farmers’ total revenue is P _ Q, the price of the wheat times the quantity sold. The discovery affects farmers in two conflicting ways. The hybrid allows farmers to produce more wheat (Q rises), but now each bushel of wheat sells for less (P falls). Whether total revenue rises or falls depends on the elasticity of demand. In practice, the demand for basic foodstuffs such as wheat is usually inelastic, for these items are relatively inexpensive and have few good substitutes. When the demand curve is inelastic, as it is in Figure 5-8, a decrease in price causes total revenue to fall. You can see this in the figure: The price of wheat falls substantially, whereas the quantity of wheat sold rises only slightly. Total revenue falls from $300 to $220. Thus, the discovery of the new hybrid lowers the total revenue that farmers receive for the sale of their crops.
If farmers are made worse off by the discovery of this new hybrid, why do they adopt it? The answer to this question goes to the heart of how competitive markets work. Because each farmer is a small part of the market for wheat, he or she takes the price of wheat as given. For any given price of wheat, it is better to use the new hybrid in order to produce and sell more wheat. Yet when all farmers do this, the supply of wheat rises, the price falls, and farmers are worse off.

Although this example may at first seem only hypothetical, in fact it helps to explain a major change in the U.S. economy over the past century. Two hundred years ago, most Americans lived on farms. Knowledge about farm methods was sufficiently primitive that most of us had to be farmers in order to produce enough food. Yet, over time, advances in farm technology increased the amount of food that each farmer could produce. This increase in food supply, together with inelastic food demand, caused farm revenues to fall, which in turn encouraged people to leave farming.
A few numbers show the magnitude of this historic change. As recently as 1950, there were 10 million people working on farms in the United States, representing 17 percent of the labor force. In 1998, fewer than 3 million people worked on farms, or 2 percent of the labor force. This change coincided with tremendous advances in farm productivity: Despite the 70 percent drop in the number of farmers, U.S. farms produced more than twice the output of crops and livestock in 1998 as they did in 1950.
This analysis of the market for farm products also helps to explain a seeming paradox of public policy: Certain farm programs try to help farmers by inducing them not to plant crops on all of their land. Why do these programs do this? Their purpose is to reduce the supply of farm products and thereby raise prices. With inelastic demand for their products, farmers as a group receive greater total revenue if they supply a smaller crop to the market. No single farmer would choose to leave his land fallow on his own because each takes the market price as given. Bu if all farmers do so together, each of them can be better off.
When analyzing the effects of farm technology or farm policy, it is important to keep in mind that what is good for farmers is not necessarily good for society as a whole. Improvement in farm technology can be bad for farmers who become increasingly unnecessary, but it is surely good for consumers who pay less for food.
Similarly, a policy aimed at reducing the supply of farm products may raise the incomes of farmers, but it does so at the expense of consumers.
WHY DID OPEC FAIL TO KEEP THE PRICE OF OIL HIGH?
Many of the most disruptive events for the world’s economies over the past several decades have originated in the world market for oil. In the 1970s members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to raise the world price of oil in order to increase their incomes. These countries accomplished this goal by jointly reducing the amount of oil they supplied. From 1973 to 1974, the price of oil (adjusted for overall inflation) rose more than 50 percent. Then, a few years later, OPEC did the same thing again. The price of oil rose 14 percent in 1979, followed by 34 percent in 1980, and another 34 percent in 1981. Yet OPEC found it difficult to maintain a high price. From 1982 to 1985, the price of oil steadily declined at about 10 percent per year. Dissatisfaction and disarray soon prevailed among the OPEC countries. In 1986 cooperation among OPEC members completely broke down, and the price of oil plunged 45 percent. In 1990 the price of oil (adjusted for overall inflation) was back to where it began in 1970, and it has stayed at that low level throughout most of the 1990s. This episode shows how supply and demand can behave differently in the short run and in the long run. In the short run, both the supply and demand for oil are relatively inelastic. Supply is inelastic because the quantity of known oil reserves and the capacity for oil extraction cannot be changed quickly. Demand is inelastic because buying habits do not respond immediately to changes in price. Many drivers with old gas-guzzling cars, for instance, will just pay the higher price. Thus, as panel (a) of Figure 5-9 shows, the short-run supply and demand curves are steep. When the supply of oil shifts from S1 to S2, the price increase from P1 to P2 is large.

The situation is very different in the long run. Over long periods of time, producers of oil outside of OPEC respond to high prices by increasing oil exploration and by building new extraction capacity. Consumers respond with greater conservation, for instance by replacing old inefficient cars with newer efficient ones. Thus, as panel (b) of Figure 5-9 shows, the long-run supply and demand curves are more elastic. In the long run, the shift in the supply curve from S1 to S2 causes a much smaller increase in the price.
This analysis shows why OPEC succeeded in maintaining a high price of oil only in the short run. When OPEC countries agreed to reduce their production of oil, they shifted the supply curve to the left. Even though each OPEC member sold less oil, the price rose by so much in the short run that OPEC incomes rose. By contrast, in the long run when supply and demand are more elastic, the same reduction in supply, measured by the horizontal shift in the supply curve, caused a smaller increase in the price. Thus, OPEC’s coordinated reduction in supply proved less profitable in the long run.
OPEC still exists today. You will occasionally hear in the news about meetings of officials from the OPEC countries. Cooperation among OPEC countries is less common now, however, in part because of the organization’s past failure at maintaining a high price.
DOES DRUG INTERDICTION INCREASE OR DECREASE DRUG-RELATED CRIME?
A persistent problem facing our society is the use of illegal drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and crack. Drug use has several adverse effects. One is that drug dependency can ruin the lives of drug users and their families. Another is that drug addicts often turn to robbery and other violent crimes to obtain the money needed to support their habit. To discourage the use of illegal drugs, the U.S. government devotes billions of dollars each year to reduce the flow of drugs into the country. Let’s use the tools of supply and demand to examine this policy of drug interdiction.
Suppose the government increases the number of federal agents devoted to the war on drugs. What happens in the market for illegal drugs? As is usual, we answer this question in three steps. First, we consider whether the supply curve or demand curve shifts. Second, we consider the direction of the shift. Third, we see how the shift affects the equilibrium price and quantity.
Although the purpose of drug interdiction is to reduce drug use, its direct impact is on the sellers of drugs rather than the buyers. When the government stops some drugs from entering the country and arrests more smugglers, it raises the cost of selling drugs and, therefore, reduces the quantity of drugs supplied at any given price. The demand for drugs—the amount buyers want at any given price—is not changed. As panel (a) of Figure 5-10 shows, interdiction shifts the supply curve to the left from S1 to S2 and leaves the demand curve the same. The equilibrium price of drugs rises from P1 to P2, and the equilibrium quantity falls from Q1 to Q2. The fall in the equilibrium quantity shows that drug interdiction does reduce drug use.
But what about the amount of drug-related crime? To answer this question, consider the total amount that drug users pay for the drugs they buy. Because few drug addicts are likely to break their destructive habits in response to a higher price, it is likely that the demand for drugs is inelastic, as it is drawn in the figure.
If demand is inelastic, then an increase in price raises total revenue in the drug market. That is, because drug interdiction raises the price of drugs proportionately more than it reduces drug use, it raises the total amount of money that drug users pay for drugs. Addicts who already had to steal to support their habits would have an even greater need for quick cash. Thus, drug interdiction could increase drug-related crime.
Because of this adverse effect of drug interdiction, some analysts argue for alternative approaches to the drug problem. Rather than trying to reduce the supply of drugs, policymakers might try to reduce the demand by pursuing a policy of drug education. Successful drug education has the effects shown in panel (b) of Figure 5-10. The demand curve shifts to the left from D1 to D2. As a result, the equilibrium quantity falls from Q1 to Q2, and the equilibrium price falls from P1 to P2. Total revenue, which is price times quantity, also falls. Thus, in contrast to drug interdiction, drug education can reduce both drug use and drug-related crime. Advocates of drug interdiction might argue that the effects of this policy are different in the long run than in the short run, because the elasticity of demand may depend on the time horizon. The demand for drugs is probably inelastic over short periods of time because higher prices do not substantially affect drug use by established addicts. But demand may be more elastic over longer periods of time because higher prices would discourage experimentation with drugs among the young and, over time, lead to fewer drug addicts. In this case, drug interdiction would increase drug-related crime in the short run while decreasing it in the long run.