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Session Overview

Store aisle for toilet paper.

Everyone knows the unpleasant feeling that results from the price of something you've been longing to buy increasing – or the excitement of seeing your favorite snack go on sale! When the price of a good changes, consumers' demand for that good changes. We can understand these changes by graphing supply and demand curves and analyzing their properties.

Toilet paper is an example of an elastic good. Image courtesy of Nic Stage on Flickr.

Keywords: Elasticity; revenue; empirical economics; demand elasticity; supply elasticity.

Session Activities


Before watching the lecture video, read the course textbook for an introduction to the material covered in this session:

  • [R&T] Chapter 5, "Elasticity: A Measure of Response."
  • [Perloff] Chapter 3, "Applying the Supply-and-Demand Model." (optional)

Lecture Videos


Check Yourself

Concept Quiz

This concept quiz covers key vocabulary terms and also tests your intuitive understanding of the material covered in this session. Complete this quiz before moving on to the next session to make sure you understand the concepts required to solve the mathematical and graphical problems that are the basis of this course.


Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Textbook Study Materials

See the [Perloff] chapter for the topics covered, as well as quizzes, applications, and other related resources.

Other OCW and OER Content

Price Elasticity of Supply College-Cram.com Interactive tutorial
Price Elasticity of Demand – Standard College-Cram.com Interactive tutorial


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