The price system demand and supply and elasticity
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The Price System, Demand and Supply, and Elasticity. The Price System: Rationing and Allocating Resources. The market system, performs two important and closely related functions:

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The Price System, Demand and Supply, and Elasticity

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The price system demand and supply and elasticity

The Price System, Demand and Supply, and Elasticity


The price system rationing and allocating resources

The Price System:Rationing and Allocating Resources

  • The market system, performs two important and closely related functions:

    • Resource allocation: the market system determines the allocation of resources among producers and the final mix of outputs.


The price system rationing and allocating resources1

The Price System:Rationing and Allocating Resources

  • The market system, performs two important and closely related functions:

  • Price rationing: the market system distributes goods and services on the basis of willingness and ability to pay.


Price rationing

Price Rationing

  • A decrease in supply creates a shortage at the original price.

  • The lower supply is rationed to those who are willing and able to pay the higher price.


Price rationing1

Price Rationing

  • There is some price that will clear any market.

  • The price of a rare painting will eliminate excess demand until there is only one bidder willing to buy the single available painting.


Constraints on the market

Constraints on the Market

  • A price ceiling is a maximum price that sellers may charge for a good, usually set by government.

  • In 1974, the government set a price ceiling to distribute the available supply of gasoline.

  • At an imposed price of 57 cents per gallon, the result was excess demand.


Alternative rationing mechanisms

Alternative Rationing Mechanisms

  • Queuing is a nonprice rationing system that uses waiting in line as a means of distributing goods and services.


Alternative rationing mechanisms1

Alternative Rationing Mechanisms

  • Favored customers are those who receive special treatment from dealers during situations when there is excess demand.

  • Ration coupons are tickets or coupons that entitle individuals to purchase a certain amount of a given product per month.


Alternative rationing mechanisms2

Alternative Rationing Mechanisms

  • Attempts to restrict prices often result in the evolution of a black market.

  • A black market is a market in which illegal trading takes place at market-determined prices.


Alternative rationing mechanisms3

Alternative Rationing Mechanisms

  • The problem with rationing systems is that excess demand is created but not eliminated.

  • No matter how good the intentions of private organizations and governments, it is very difficult to prevent the price system from operating and to stop the willingness to pay from asserting itself.


Prices and the allocation of resources

Prices and the Allocation of Resources

  • Price changes resulting from shifts of demand cause profits to rise or fall.

  • Profits attract capital; losses lead to disinvestment.

  • Higher wages attract labor and encourage workers to acquire skills.

  • At the core of the system, supply, demand, and prices in input and output markets determine the allocation of resources and the ultimate combinations of things produced.


Price floors

Price Floors

  • A price floor is a minimum price below which exchange is not permitted.

    • The most common example of a price floor is the minimum wage, which is a floor set under the price of labor.

  • The result of setting a price floor will be excess supply, or higher quantity supplied than quantity demanded.


Elasticity

Elasticity

  • Elasticity is a general concept that can be used to quantify the response in one variable when another variable changes.


Price elasticity of demand

Price Elasticity of Demand

  • A popular measure of elasticity is price elasticity of demand measures how responsive consumers are to changes in the price of a product.

  • The value of demand elasticity is always negative, but it is stated in absolute terms.


Types of elasticity

Types of Elasticity

  • When the percentage change in quantity demanded is smaller than the percentage change in price, demand for that product is inelastic.

  • When the percentage change in quantity demanded is larger than the percentage change in price, demand for that product is elastic.


Perfectly elastic and perfectly inelastic demand curves

When demand does not respond at all to a change in price, demand is perfectly inelastic.

Demand is perfectly elastic when quantity demanded drops to zero at the slightest increase in price.

Perfectly Elastic andPerfectly Inelastic Demand Curves


Calculating elasticities

Calculating Elasticities

  • Calculating percentage changes:


Calculating elasticities1

Calculating Elasticities

  • Elasticity is a ratio of percentages.

  • Using the values on the graph to compute elasticity, using percentage changes yields the following result:


Calculating elasticities2

Calculating Elasticities

  • A more accurate way of computing elasticity than percentage changes is the midpoint formula:


Calculating elasticities3

Calculating Elasticities

Here is how to interpret two different values of elasticity:

  • When e = 0.2, a 10% increase in price leads to a 2% decrease in quantity demanded.

  • When e = 2.0, a 10% increase in price leads to a 20% decrease in quantity demanded.


Elasticity and total revenue

Elasticity and Total Revenue

  • When demand is inelastic, price and total revenues are directly related. Price increases generate higher revenues.

  • When demand is elastic, price and total revenues are indirectly related. Price increases generate lower revenues.


Other important elasticities

Other Important Elasticities

  • Income elasticity of demand – measures the responsiveness of demand to changes in income.

  • Income elasticity of demandis positive for normal goods and negative for inferior goods.


Other important elasticities1

Other Important Elasticities

  • Cross-price elasticity of demand: A measure of the response of the quantity of one good demanded to a change in the price of another good.

  • Cross-price elasticity of demand is positive for substitutes and negative for complements.


Other important elasticities2

Other Important Elasticities

  • Elasticity of supply: A measure of the response of quantity of a good supplied to a change in price of that good. Likely to be positive in output markets.


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