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POINT ELASTICITY: The relatively responsiveness of a change in one variable (call it B) to an infinitesimally small change in another variable (call it A). The notion of point elasticity typically comes into play when discussing the elasticity at a specific point on a curve.< P>Point elasticity can be calculated in a number of different ways. Sophisticated economists, using sophisticated mathematical techniques (better known as calculus) can calculate point elasticity by taking derivatives of equations. Derivatives is fancy calculus talk for infinitesimally small changes.

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Lesson 11: Elasticity Basics | Unit 1: The Concept Page: 3 of 25

Topic: Quantity Changes <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

  • While the elasticity concept can be applied to several different areas, when applied to the market, elasticity captures the relation between price and quantity.

  • The force activating the change is price and the variable that's being stretched is quantity.

  • The importance of elasticity for market analysis comes into play in the following way:

    • First, market shocks triggered by determinant-induced shifts of the demand and supply curves create shortages and surpluses.
    • Second, governments are fond of placing taxes or price controls on markets.

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AGGREGATE DEMAND DECREASE, SHORT-RUN AGGREGATE MARKET

A shock to the short-run aggregate market caused by a decrease in aggregate demand, resulting in and illustrated by a leftward shift of the aggregate demand curve. A decrease in aggregate demand in the short-run aggregate market results in a decrease in the price level and a decrease in real production. The level of real production resulting from the shock can be greater or less than full-employment real production.

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