## Elasticity: A Measure of Response

Read this chapter to learn about the concept of elasticity. Be sure to read Sections 5.1-5.4 following the introduction.

### Price Elasticity of Supply

#### Key Takeaways

• The price elasticity of supply measures the responsiveness of quantity supplied to changes in price. It is the percentage change in quantity supplied divided by the percentage change in price. It is usually positive.
• Supply is price inelastic if the price elasticity of supply is less than 1; it is unit price elastic if the price elasticity of supply is equal to 1; and it is price elastic if the price elasticity of supply is greater than 1. A vertical supply curve is said to be perfectly inelastic. A horizontal supply curve is said to be perfectly elastic.
• The price elasticity of supply is greater when the length of time under consideration is longer because over time producers have more options for adjusting to the change in price.
• When applied to labor supply, the price elasticity of supply is usually positive but can be negative. If higher wages induce people to work more, the labor supply curve is upward sloping and the price elasticity of supply is positive. In some very high-paying professions or other unusual circumstances, the labor supply curve may have a negative slope, which leads to a negative price elasticity of supply.