Importance of Elasticity of Demand
While fixing the price of this product, a businessman has to consider the elasticity of demand for the product. He should consider whether a lowering of price will stimulate demand for his product, and if so to what extent and whether his profits will also increase a result thereof.
Price discrimination refers to the act of selling the technically same products at different prices to different section of consumers or in different in sub-markets. The policy of price-discrimination is profitable to the monopolist when elasticity of demand for his product is different in different sub-markets. Those consumers whose demand is inelastic can be charged a higher price than those with more elastic demand.
To what extent a producer can shift the burden of indirect tax to the buyers by increasing price of his product depends upon the degree of elasticity of demand. If the demand is inelastic the larger part of the indirect tax can be shifted upon buyers by increasing price. On the other hand if the demand is elastic than the burden of tax will be more on the producer.
The government can impose higher taxes and collect more revenue if the demand for the commodity on which a tax is to be levied is inelastic. On the other hand, in ease of a commodity with elastic demand high tax rates may fail to bring in the required revenue for the government. Govt., should provide subsidy on those goods whose demand is elastic and in the production of the commodity the law of increasing returns operates.
The concept of elasticity of demand is of crucial importance in many aspects of international trade. The success of the policy of devaluation to correct the adverse balance of payment depends upon the elasticity of demand for exports and imports of the country.
Factor with an inelastic demand can always command a higher price as compared to a factor with relatively elastic demand. This helps the trade unions in knowing that where they can easily get the wage rate increased. Bargaining capacity of trade unions depend upon elasticity of demand for workers services.
Super Markets is a market where in a variety of goods are sold by a single organization. These items are generally of mass consumption. Therefore, the organization is supposed to sell commodities at lower prices than charged by shopkeepers in the other bazars. Thus, the policy adopted is to charge a slightly lower price for items whose demand is relatively elastic and the costs are covered by increased sales.
The goods that are produced by a single production process are joint supply products. The cost of production of these goods is also joint. Therefore, while determining the prices of these products their elasticity of demand is considered.
The use of machines may reduce the cost of production and price. If the demand of the product is elastic then the fall in price will increase demand significantly. As a result of increased demand the production will also increase and more workers will be employed.
The nationalization of public utility services can also be justified with the help of elasticity of demand. Demand for public utilities are generally inelastic in nature. If the operation of such utilities is left in the hand of private individuals, they may exploit the consumers by charging high prices.
The elasticity of demand helps the businessman to decide about production. A businessman chooses the optimum product- mix on the basis of elasticity of demand for various products. The products having more elastic demand are preferred by the businessmen. The sale of such products can be increased with a little reduction in their prices.
From the above discussion it is amply clear that price elasticity of demand is of great significance in making business decisions.