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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This is the solved assignment of – “What is Elasticity of Demand? Explain the factors determining it.” It is written for MB0042 (Managerial Economics) SMU MBA assignment. We already have explained about price discrimination and categories of environmental stressors.

Factors Influencing Price Elasticity of Demand:

Nature of Commodity - By the nature of commodity, we divide them into comfort, luxury and necessity. For luxuries and comforts the Ep> 1 because when prices of these commodities decrease, the demand for these commodities will also increase; whereas in case of necessities, the Ep<1 because when the price of these commodities decrease, the demand for these commodities will increase by less than proportionate.

Availability of substitutes – For those commodities which have enough substitutes in the market, the price elasticity is of more than one, because when the price of a commodity has many substitutes, the consumer will shift to the substitute available in the market.

Number of Uses – Those commodities which have many or multiple uses like coal, milk. For such commodities, the elasticity is more than one as they can be used for more than one purpose. So, if the price of such commodity decreases, there will be increase in the demand. But for those commodities which have very less use of limited uses, the demand will be relatively inelastic.

Durability of commodity – Durable goods is those which last for many years. E.g.: motorcycle, TV, washing machines, etc. The price elasticity of demand for durable goods will be more than one because when the price of such commodities increases, the demand will increase, but for the commodities like fish, vegetables etc., which come under perishable goods, the elasticity of demand will be less than one as these commodities cannot be stored. So even if the price decreases, the demand will not increase.

Consumer’s Income – The price elasticity of demand will be relatively elastic for overall commodities which the consumer’s income is high.

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