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Summary of Comments on Slide 1

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:05:25 PM The elasticity chapter in most principles textbooks is fairly technical, and is not always students favorite. This PowerPoint chapter contains several special features designed to engage and motivate students to learn this important material. First, we consider a scenario in which students face a business decision whether to raise the price of a service they sell. This scenario is used to illustrate the effects of raising price on number of units sold and on revenue, which students immediately recognize as critical to the business decision. Second, instead of merely listing the determinants of elasticity, students are asked to think about some concrete examples and deduce from each one a lesson about the determinants of elasticity.

Elasticity and its Application

Third, instead of putting the applications at the end of the chapter (as in the textbook), this PowerPoint includes one of them immediately after the section on price elasticity of demand. This helps break up what would otherwise be a long stretch of theory. Please be assured that this PowerPoint presentation is, nonetheless, very consistent with the textbooks approach.

PRINCIPLES OF

MICROECONOMICS
FOURTH EDITION

N. G R E G O R Y M A N K I W
Premium PowerPoint Slides by Ron Cronovich 2007 update
2008 Thomson South-Western, all rights reserved

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In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: What is elasticity? What kinds of issues can
elasticity help us understand?

What is the price elasticity of demand?


How is it related to the demand curve? How is it related to revenue & expenditure?

What is the price elasticity of supply?


How is it related to the supply curve?

What are the income and cross-price elasticities of


demand?
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 1

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:05:54 PM We will follow this scenario throughout the first section of this chapter (the section on price elasticity of demand) to illustrate and motivate several important concepts, such as the impact of price changes on sales and revenue.

A scenario
You design websites for local businesses. You charge $200 per website, and currently sell 12 websites per month. Your costs are rising (including the opp. cost of your time), so you consider raising the price to $250. The law of demand says that you wont sell as many websites if you raise your price. How many fewer websites? How much will your revenue fall, or might it increase?
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 2

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:05:54 PM Here, Qd and Qs are short for quantity demanded and quantity supplied, as in the PowerPoint for Chapter 4.

Elasticity
Basic idea: Elasticity measures how much
one variable responds to changes in another variable. One type of elasticity measures how much demand for your websites will fall if you raise your price.

Definition:
Elasticity is a numerical measure of the responsiveness of Qd or Qs to one of its determinants.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 3

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Price Elasticity of Demand


Price elasticity of demand Percentage change in Qd
=

Percentage change in P

Price elasticity of demand measures how


much Qd responds to a change in P.

Loosely speaking, it measures the pricesensitivity of buyers demand.

CHAPTER 5

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Price Elasticity of Demand


Price elasticity of demand Percentage change in Qd
=

Percentage change in P
P P rises P2 by 10% P1 D Q2 Q falls by 15%
5

Example:
Price elasticity of demand equals 15% = 1.5 10%
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Q1

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:01 PM It might be worth explaining to your students that P and Q move in opposite directions means that the percentage change in Q and the percentage change in P will have opposite signs, thus implying a negative price elasticity. To be consistent with the text, the last statement in the green box says that we will report all price elasticities as positive numbers. It might be slightly more accurate to say that we will report all elasticities as non-negative numbers: we want to allow for the (admittedly rare) case of zero elasticity.

Price Elasticity of Demand


Price elasticity of demand Percentage change in Qd
=

Percentage change in P
P P2 P1 D Q2 Q1 Q

Along a D curve, P and Q move in opposite directions, which would make price elasticity negative. We will drop the minus sign and report all price elasticities as positive numbers.
CHAPTER 5

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Calculating Percentage Changes


Standard method of computing the percentage (%) change: end value start value x 100% start value Going from A to B, the % change in P equals
D 8
CHAPTER 5

Demand for your websites


P $250 $200 B A

($250$200)/$200 = 25%

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ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Calculating Percentage Changes


Problem: The standard method gives different answers depending on where you start. From A to B, P rises 25%, Q falls 33%, elasticity = 33/25 = 1.33
D 8
CHAPTER 5

Demand for your websites


P $250 $200 B A

12

From B to A, P falls 20%, Q rises 50%, Q elasticity = 50/20 = 2.50


8

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Calculating Percentage Changes


So, we instead use the midpoint method:
end value start value x 100% midpoint

The midpoint is the number halfway between


the start & end values, the average of those values.

It doesnt matter which value you use as the


start and which as the end you get the same answer either way!
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 9

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:02 PM These calculations are based on the example shown a few slides back: points A and B on the website demand curve.

Calculating Percentage Changes


Using the midpoint method, the % change
in P equals

$250 $200 x 100% = 22.2% $225

The % change in Q equals


12 8 x 100% = 40.0% 10

The price elasticity of demand equals


40/22.2 = 1.8
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 10

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1: Calculate an elasticity
ACTIVE LEARNING

Use the following information to calculate the price elasticity of demand for hotel rooms: if P = $70, Qd = 5000 if P = $90, Qd = 3000

11

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ACTIVE LEARNING

Answers

1:

Use midpoint method to calculate % change in Qd (5000 3000)/4000 = 50% % change in P ($90 $70)/$80 = 25% The price elasticity of demand equals 50% = 2.0 25%
12

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:08 PM In essence, the textbook says Here are the determinants of elasticity. The first one is availability of close substitutes. Heres an example. Thats great for a textbook. For teaching, Ive found a different approach to be far more effective the approach on the following four slides, which essentially has students deduce the general lessons from specific examples that students can probably figure out with a little common sense. See notes on the next slide for a good suggestion.

What determines price elasticity?


To learn the determinants of price elasticity, we look at a series of examples. Each compares two common goods. In each example:

Suppose the prices of both goods rise by 20%. The good for which Qd falls the most (in percent)
has the highest price elasticity of demand. Which good is it? Why?

What lesson does the example teach us about the


determinants of the price elasticity of demand?
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 13

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:08 PM Suggestion: For each of these examples, display the slide title (which lists the two goods) and the first two lines of text (which ask which good experiences the biggest drop in demand in response to a 20% price increase). Give your students a quiet minute to formulate their answers. Then, ask for volunteers.

EXAMPLE 1:

Rice Krispies vs. Sunscreen

The prices of both of these goods rise by 20%.


For which good does Qd drop the most? Why?

Rice Krispies has lots of close substitutes


(e.g., Capn Crunch, Count Chocula), so buyers can easily switch if the price rises.

Sunscreen has no close substitutes,


so consumers would probably not buy much less if its price rises.

Lesson: Price elasticity is higher when close


substitutes are available.
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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:08 PM You might need to clarify the nature of this thought experiment. Here, we look at two alternate scenarios. In the first, the price of blue jeans (and no other clothing) rises by 20%, and we observe the percentage decrease in quantity of blue jeans demanded. In the second scenario, the price of all clothing rises by 20%, and we observe the percentage decrease in demand for all clothing.

EXAMPLE 2:

Blue Jeans vs. Clothing The prices of both goods rise by 20%.
For which good does Qd drop the most? Why?

For a narrowly defined good such as


blue jeans, there are many substitutes (khakis, shorts, Speedos).

There are fewer substitutes available for


broadly defined goods. (Can you think of a substitute for clothing, other than living in a nudist colony?)

Lesson: Price elasticity is higher for narrowly


defined goods than broadly defined ones.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 15

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EXAMPLE 3:

Insulin vs. Caribbean Cruises

The prices of both of these goods rise by 20%.


For which good does Qd drop the most? Why?

To millions of diabetics, insulin is a necessity.


A rise in its price would cause little or no decrease in demand.

A cruise is a luxury.

If the price rises, some people will forego it.

Lesson: Price elasticity is higher for luxuries


than for necessities.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 16

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EXAMPLE 4:

Gasoline in the Short Run vs. Gasoline in the Long Run

The price of gasoline rises 20%. Does Qd drop


more in the short run or the long run? Why?

Theres not much people can do in the


short run, other than ride the bus or carpool.

In the long run, people can buy smaller cars


or live closer to where they work.

Lesson: Price elasticity is higher in the


long run than the short run.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 17

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:21 PM This slide is a convenience for your students, and replicates a similar table from the text. If youre pressed for time, it is probably safe to omit this slide from your presentation.

The Determinants of Price Elasticity: A Summary


The price elasticity of demand depends on: the extent to which close substitutes are available whether the good is a necessity or a luxury how broadly or narrowly the good is defined the time horizon: elasticity is higher in the long run than the short run.

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ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:21 PM Economists classify demand curves according to their elasticity. The next 5 slides present the five different classifications, from least to most elastic.

The Variety of Demand Curves


The price elasticity of demand is closely related
to the slope of the demand curve.

Rule of thumb:
The flatter the curve, the bigger the elasticity. The steeper the curve, the smaller the elasticity.

Five different classifications of D curves.

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ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:21 PM If Q doesnt change, then the percentage change in Q equals zero, and thus elasticity equals zero. It is hard to think of a good for which the price elasticity of demand is literally zero. Take insulin, for example. A sufficiently large price increase would probably reduce demand for insulin a little, particularly among people with very low incomes and no health insurance. However, if elasticity is very close to zero, then the demand curve is almost vertical. In such cases, the convenience of modeling demand as perfectly inelastic probably outweighs the cost of being slightly inaccurate.

Perfectly inelastic demand (one extreme case)


% change in Q Price elasticity = = of demand % change in P 0% 10%
D

=0

D curve: vertical Consumers price sensitivity: 0 Elasticity: 0


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P P1 P2 P falls by 10%

Q1 Q changes by 0%

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:22 PM An example: student demand for textbooks that their professors have required for their courses. Here, its a little more clear that elasticity would be small, but not zero. At a high enough price, some students will not buy their books, but instead will share with a friend, or try to find them in the library, or just take copious notes in class. Another example: gasoline in the short run.

Inelastic demand
< 10% % change in Q Price elasticity <1 = = of demand 10% % change in P

D curve: relatively steep Consumers price sensitivity: relatively low Elasticity: <1
CHAPTER 5

P P1 P2 D P falls by 10% Q1 Q2 Q rises less than 10% Q

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:22 PM This is the intermediate case: the demand curve is neither relatively steep nor relatively flat. Buyers are neither relatively price-sensitive nor relatively insensitive to price. This is also the case where price changes have no effect on revenue.

Unit elastic demand


% change in Q Price elasticity = = of demand % change in P 10% 10%

=1

D curve: intermediate slope Consumers price sensitivity: intermediate Elasticity: 1


CHAPTER 5

P P1 P2 P falls by 10% D Q1 Q2 Q

Q rises by 10%
ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 22

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:23 PM A good example here would be Rice Krispies, or nearly anything with readily available substitutes. An elastic demand curve is flatter than a unit elastic demand curve (which itself is flatter than an inelastic demand curve).

Elastic demand
> 10% % change in Q Price elasticity >1 = = of demand 10% % change in P

D curve: relatively flat Consumers price sensitivity: relatively high Elasticity: >1
CHAPTER 5

P P1 P2 P falls by 10% D Q

Q1

Q2

Q rises more than 10%


ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 23

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:24 PM Extreme price sensitivity means the tiniest price increase causes demand to fall to zero. Q changes by any % when the D curve is horizontal, quantity cannot be determined from price. Consumers might demand Q1 units one month, Q2 units another month, and some other quantity later. Q can change by any amount, but P always changes by 0% (i.e. doesnt change). If perfectly inelastic is one extreme, this (perfectly elastic) is the other.

Perfectly elastic demand (the other extreme)


any % % change in Q Price elasticity = infinity = = of demand 0% % change in P

Heres a good real-world example of a perfectly elastic demand curve, which foreshadows an upcoming chapter on firms in competitive markets. Suppose you run a small family farm in Iowa. Your main crop is wheat. The demand curve in this market is downward-sloping, and the market demand and supply curves determine the price of wheat. Suppose that price is $5/bushel. Now consider the demand curve facing you, the individual wheat farmer. If you charge a price of $5, you can sell as much or as little as you want. If you charge a price even just a little higher than $5, demand for YOUR wheat will fall to zero: Buyers would not be willing to pay you more than $5 when they could get the same wheat elsewhere for $5. Similarly, if you drop your price below $5, then demand for YOUR wheat will become enormous (not literally infinite, but almost infinite): if other wheat farmers are charging $5 and you charge less, then EVERY buyer will want to buy wheat from you. Why is the demand curve facing an individual producer perfectly elastic? Recall that elasticity is greater when lots of close substitutes are available. In this case, you are selling a product that has many perfect substitutes: the wheat sold by every other farmer is a perfect substitute for the wheat you sell.

D curve: horizontal Consumers price sensitivity: extreme Elasticity: infinity


CHAPTER 5

P P2 = P1 D

P changes by 0%

Q1

Q2

Q changes by any %
ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 24

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:24 PM The material on this slide is not used anywhere else in the textbook. Therefore, if you are pressed for time and looking for things to cut, you might consider cutting this slide. (Note that this is my personal recommendation and is not necessarily the official position of Greg Mankiw or Thomson/SouthWestern.) Due to space limitations, this slide uses E as an abbreviation for elasticity, or more specifically, the price elasticity of demand, and the slide omits the analysis of revenue along the demand curve.

Elasticity of a Linear Demand Curve


P

Calculations of percentage changes use the midpoint method. (This is why the increase from Q=0 to Q=20 is 200% rather than infinity.) As you move down a linear demand curve, the slope (the ratio of the absolute change in P to that in Q) remains constant: From the point (0, $30) to the point (20, $20), the rise equals -$10, the run equals +20, so the slope equals -1/2 or -0.5. From the point (40, $10) to the point (60, $0), the rise again equals -$10, the run equals +20, and the slope again equals -0.5. However, the percentage changes in these variables do not remain constant, as shown by the different colored elasticity calculations that appear on the slide. The lesson here is that elasticity falls as you move downward & rightward along a linear demand curve.

$30 20 10 $0

E =

200% = 5.0 40% E = 67% = 1.0 67% E = 40% = 0.2 200%


Q

The slope of a linear demand curve is constant, but its elasticity is not.

20

40

60

CHAPTER 5

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:25 PM We return to our scenario. Its not hard for students to imagine being in this position running their own business and trying to decide whether to raise the price. To most of your students, it should be clear that making the best possible decision would require information about the likely effects of the price increase on revenue. That is why elasticity is so helpful, as we will now see.

Price Elasticity and Total Revenue


Continuing our scenario, if you raise your price
from $200 to $250, would your revenue rise or fall? Revenue = P x Q

A price increase has two effects on revenue:

Higher P means more revenue on each unit


you sell. But you sell fewer units (lower Q), due to Law of Demand.

Which of these two effects is bigger?


It depends on the price elasticity of demand.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 26

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Price Elasticity and Total Revenue


Price elasticity = of demand Percentage change in Q Percentage change in P

Revenue = P x Q

If demand is elastic, then


price elast. of demand > 1 % change in Q > % change in P

The fall in revenue from lower Q is greater


than the increase in revenue from higher P, so revenue falls.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 27

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:26 PM In the Normal view (edit mode), the labels over the graph look cluttered, like theyre on top of each other. This is not a mistake in Slide Show mode (presentation mode), they will be fine try it! Point out to students that the area (outlined in blue) representing lost revenue due to lower Q is larger than the area (outlined in yellow) representing increased revenue due to higher P. Hence, the net effect is a fall in revenue.

Price Elasticity and Total Revenue


Elastic demand (elasticity = 1.8) If P = $200, Q = 12 and revenue = $2400. If P = $250, Q = 8 and revenue = $2000.
P increased Demand for revenue due your websites lost to higher P revenue due to lower Q D

$250 $200

When D is elastic, a price increase causes revenue to fall.


CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Price Elasticity and Total Revenue


Price elasticity = of demand Percentage change in Q Percentage change in P Revenue = P x Q

If demand is inelastic, then

price elast. of demand < 1 % change in Q < % change in P

The fall in revenue from lower Q is smaller


than the increase in revenue from higher P, so revenue rises.

In our example, suppose that Q only falls to 10


(instead of 8) when you raise your price to $250.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 29

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:26 PM Again, the slide appears cluttered in Normal view (edit mode), but everything is fine when displayed in Slide Show mode (presentation mode). Point out to students that the area representing lost revenue due to lower Q is smaller than the area representing increased revenue due to higher P. Hence, the net effect is an increase in revenue. The knife-edge case, not shown here but perhaps worth mentioning in class, is unit-elastic demand. In that case, an increase in price leaves revenue unchanged: the increase in revenue from higher P exactly offsets the lost revenue due to lower Q.

Price Elasticity and Total Revenue


Now, demand is inelastic: elasticity = 0.82 If P = $200, Q = 12 and revenue = $2400. If P = $250, Q = 10 and revenue = $2500.
increased Demand for revenue websites your due lost to higher P revenue due to lower Q

$250 $200

D Q

When D is inelastic, a price increase causes revenue to rise.


CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

10

12

30

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:29 PM These problems, perhaps similar to those you might ask on an exam, are complex in that they test several skills at once: Students must determine whether demand for each good is elastic or inelastic, and they must determine the impact of a price change on revenue/expenditure. So far, weve been talking about how elasticity determines the effects of an increase in P on revenue. Part (b) asks your students to determine the effects of a decrease in P.

2: Elasticity and expenditure/revenue


ACTIVE LEARNING

A. Pharmacies raise the price of insulin by 10%.

Does total expenditure on insulin rise or fall?


B. As a result of a fare war, the price of a luxury

cruise falls 20%. Does luxury cruise companies total revenue rise or fall?

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ACTIVE LEARNING

Answers

2:

A. Pharmacies raise the price of insulin by 10%.

Does total expenditure on insulin rise or fall? Expenditure = P x Q Since demand is inelastic, Q will fall less than 10%, so expenditure rises.

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:33 PM The first part of the explanation discusses the opposing effects on revenue; its purpose is to clarify the effects of a price decrease on revenue, as we have previously only discussed the effects of a price increase.

ACTIVE LEARNING

Answers

2:

B. As a result of a fare war, the price of a luxury

cruise falls 20%. Does luxury cruise companies total revenue rise or fall? Revenue = P x Q The fall in P reduces revenue, but Q increases, which increases revenue. Which effect is bigger? Since demand is elastic, Q will increase more than 20%, so revenue rises.
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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:33 PM In the textbook, this application appears near the end of the chapter, and you can easily move these slides to the end if you wish to teach things in the same order as the book. However, I encourage you to consider teaching this application right here - immediately after the section on price elasticity of demand. It is safe to do so, as this application only requires knowledge of price elasticity of demand. Also, putting the application here breaks up what would otherwise be a very long section of theory with a real-world example that most students find very interesting. Knowing elasticity helps us understand what might otherwise be a counter-intuitive result (that drug interdiction increases drug-related crime rather than reducing it).

APPLICATION: Does Drug Interdiction

Increase or Decrease Drug-Related Crime?

One side effect of illegal drug use is crime:


Users often turn to crime to finance their habit.

We examine two policies designed to reduce


illegal drug use and see what effects they have on drug-related crime.

For simplicity, we assume the total dollar value


of drug-related crime equals total expenditure on drugs.

Demand for illegal drugs is inelastic, due to


addiction issues.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 34

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:34 PM By the time all elements have appeared on the screen, the slide will look kind of busy. I think this is okay, because the elements appear on the screen one by one, so students have time to absorb each one before the next one appears. However, if youd rather strip the slide down a bit, heres a suggestion: in Normal view (which is used to edit slides), you can delete the boxes that represent the initial and new values of drug-related crime, and the accompanying captions. Then, when presenting this slide in class, simply point out (with your mouse cursor, a laser pointer, or even your arms and hands) the areas that represent the initial and new values of drug-related crime.

Policy 1: Interdiction
Interdiction reduces Price of Drugs the supply of drugs. P2 Since demand for drugs is inelastic, P1 P rises proportionally more than Q falls. Result: an increase in total spending on drugs, and in drug-related crime
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

new value of drugrelated crime S2 D1

S1

initial value of drugrelated crime Q2 Q1 Quantity of Drugs


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Policy 2: Education
Education reduces the demand for drugs. P and Q fall. Result: A decrease in total spending on drugs, and in drug-related crime.
CHAPTER 5

Price of Drugs

new value of drugrelated crime D2 D1 S initial value of drugrelated crime Q2 Q1 Quantity of Drugs
36

P1 P2

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:35 PM Most everything in the price elasticity of supply section corresponds to analogous concepts from the price elasticity of demand section. So, it is probably safe to move through this section more quickly.

Price Elasticity of Supply


Price elasticity of supply Percentage change in Qs
=

Percentage change in P

Price elasticity of supply measures how much


Qs responds to a change in P.

Loosely speaking, it measures the pricesensitivity of sellers supply.

Again, use the midpoint method to compute the


percentage changes.

CHAPTER 5

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Price Elasticity of Supply


Price elasticity of supply Percentage change in Qs
=

Percentage change in P
P P rises P2 by 8% P1 Q S

Example:
Price elasticity of supply equals 16% = 2.0 8%
CHAPTER 5

Q1 Q rises by 16%

Q2

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:35 PM Economists classify supply curves according to their elasticity. The next 5 slides present the different classifications, from least to most elastic.

The Variety of Supply Curves


The slope of the supply curve is closely related
to price elasticity of supply.

Rule of thumb:
The flatter the curve, the bigger the elasticity. The steeper the curve, the smaller the elasticity.

Five different classifications.

CHAPTER 5

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Perfectly inelastic (one extreme)


% change in Q Price elasticity = = of supply % change in P 0% 10%
S

=0

S curve: vertical Sellers price sensitivity: 0 Elasticity: 0


CHAPTER 5

P P2 P1 P rises by 10%

Q1 Q changes by 0%

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Inelastic
< 10% % change in Q Price elasticity <1 = = of supply 10% % change in P

S curve: relatively steep Sellers price sensitivity: relatively low Elasticity: <1
CHAPTER 5

P S P2 P1 P rises by 10% Q

Q1 Q2 Q rises less than 10%

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Unit elastic
% change in Q Price elasticity = = of supply % change in P 10% 10%

=1

S curve: intermediate slope Sellers price sensitivity: intermediate Elasticity: =1


CHAPTER 5

P S P2 P1 P rises by 10% Q

Q1

Q2

Q rises by 10%
ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 42

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Elastic
> 10% % change in Q Price elasticity >1 = = of supply 10% % change in P

S curve: relatively flat Sellers price sensitivity: relatively high Elasticity: >1
CHAPTER 5

P S P2 P1 P rises by 10% Q

Q1

Q2

Q rises more than 10%


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Perfectly elastic (the other extreme)


any % % change in Q Price elasticity = infinity = = of supply 0% % change in P

S curve: horizontal Sellers price sensitivity: extreme Elasticity: infinity


CHAPTER 5

P P2 = P1 S

P changes by 0%

Q1

Q2 Q changes by any %

ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:38 PM This section is not perfectly analogous to the section on the determinants of the price elasticity of demand, but its similar enough that you can probably cover it more quickly and with less hand-holding.

The Determinants of Supply Elasticity

The more easily sellers can change the quantity


they produce, the greater the price elasticity of supply. Example: Supply of beachfront property is harder to vary and thus less elastic than supply of new cars.

For many goods, price elasticity of supply


is greater in the long run than in the short run, because firms can build new factories, or new firms may be able to enter the market.
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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:41 PM This is one of the Problems and Applications at the end of the chapter.

3: Elasticity and changes in equilibrium


ACTIVE LEARNING

The supply of beachfront property is inelastic.


The supply of new cars is elastic.

Suppose population growth causes


demand for both goods to double (at each price, Qd doubles).

For which product will P change the most? For which product will Q change the most?

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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:43 PM In this slide and the next, the initial price and quantity and the two demand curves are the same. The only difference is the elasticity of supply and slope of the supply curve. [The D curve shifts to the right, but not in a parallel fashion: at each price, quantity demanded is twice as high, so the new D curve will be flatter than the initial one.] In the text box containing the verbal explanation, bigger impact is shorthand for bigger percentage impact or bigger proportional impact.

ACTIVE LEARNING

Answers

3:
Beachfront property (inelastic supply):

When supply is inelastic, an increase in demand has a bigger impact on price than on quantity.

D1 D2
P2 P1 A

S B

Q1 Q2

Q
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ACTIVE LEARNING

Answers

3:
New cars (elastic supply):

When supply is elastic, an increase in demand has a bigger impact on quantity than on price.

D1 D2
S P2 P1 B A

Q1

Q2

Q
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Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:49 PM This graph replicates the one in Figure 6. Note: The graph here is not quite drawn to scale. When the price rises from $3 to $4 (a 29% increase, using the midpoint method), quantity rises from 100 to 120 (or 67%). Because 67% > 29%, price elasticity of supply is greater than one. When the price rises from $12 to $15 (22%), quantity rises from 500 to 525 (about 5%), so price elasticity of supply is less than one. The way I like to explain this is as follows:

How the Price Elasticity of Supply Can Vary


P
$15 12

When output is very low, it is relatively easy for firms to increase output. They may have excess capacity, or they are not requiring full effort from their workers. Increasing output is not difficult, so it doesnt take much of an increase in price to induce an increase in production. When output is very high, it is relatively expensive for firms to increase output further: theres little or no excess capacity, they are already running their factories and machines at a high level of intensity. To increase output further, they might have to pay their workers overtime, and their machines experience more wear and tear and therefore require more repairs. So, at high levels of output, it takes a much larger price increase to make firms willing to increase output further. Eventually, firms bump up against their capacity constraints, and simply cannot increase output in response to further price increases. Of course, all of this applies to the short run. In the long run, firms can build more factories, and (depending on the market structure) new firms can enter the market.

S elasticity <1

elasticity >1
4 $3 100 200 500 525

Supply often becomes less elastic as Q rises, due to capacity limits.


Q

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ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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Page: 51
Author: Presenter Subject: Presentation Notes Date: 12/23/2011 12:06:49 PM This topic and the next one (cross-price elasticity) do not appear anywhere else in the book. Instructors who are pressed for time may consider cutting these topics. (This is merely my suggestion, not the official position of Greg Mankiw or Thomson/South-Western.)

Other Elasticities
The income elasticity of demand measures the
response of Qd to a change in consumer income. Percent change in Qd Income elasticity = of demand Percent change in income

Recall from chap.4: An increase in income causes


an increase in demand for a normal good.

Hence, for normal goods, income elasticity > 0. For inferior goods, income elasticity < 0.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 50

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Other Elasticities
The cross-price elasticity of demand measures
the response of demand for one good to changes in the price of another good. % change in Qd for good 1 Cross-price elast. = of demand % change in price of good 2

For substitutes, cross-price elasticity > 0


E.g., an increase in price of beef causes an increase in demand for chicken.

For complements, cross-price elasticity < 0


E.g., an increase in price of computers causes decrease in demand for software.
CHAPTER 5 ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION 51

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CHAPTER SUMMARY Elasticity measures the responsiveness of


Qd or Qs to one of its determinants.

Price elasticity of demand equals percentage


change Qd in divided by percentage change in P. When its less than one, demand is inelastic. When greater than one, demand is elastic.

When demand is inelastic, total revenue rises


when price rises. When demand is elastic, total revenue falls when price rises.

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CHAPTER SUMMARY Demand is less elastic in the short run,


for necessities, for broadly defined goods, or for goods with few close substitutes.

Price elasticity of supply equals percentage


change in Qs divided by percentage change in P. When its less than one, supply is inelastic. When greater than one, supply is elastic.

Price elasticity of supply is greater in the long run


than in the short run.

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CHAPTER SUMMARY The income elasticity of demand measures how


much quantity demanded responds to changes in buyers incomes.

The cross-price elasticity of demand measures


how much demand for one good responds to changes in the price of another good.

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ELASTICITY AND ITS APPLICATION

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