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Arc Elasticity


Arc elasticity is a measure of elasticity that averages the price and quantity used as the base for percentage calculations, aiming to combat the problem of different values from the use of different base values. It’s an elasticity concept used in economics to measure the responsiveness or sensitivity of one economic variable to change in another. Specifically, it calculates the percentage change in a dependent variable as a result of a certain percentage change in an independent variable, regardless of the direction of change.


The phonetics of the keyword “Arc Elasticity” would be:ɑːrk ɪˌlæstɪsɪti

Key Takeaways

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  1. Arc Elasticity is a method used for calculating elasticity, which measures the responsiveness of demand or supply to changes in price or income. It calculates the percentage change in quantity demanded or supplied relative to the percentage change in price or income over a specific interval, rather than at a single point.
  2. Since it calculates the elasticity over a range of prices, Arc Elasticity is particularly useful where demand or supply response varies significantly over different price levels. This method provides the average elasticity within an interval, making the measure more realistic and meaningful.
  3. Arc Elasticity is differentiated from point elasticity because it doesn’t require a linear demand curve and considers the potential different responsiveness to price at different points on the curve. It averages the price sensitivity over a range of prices, presenting a more balanced overview of price sensitivity.



Arc elasticity is an important concept in business and finance because it provides a more accurate measurement of price sensitivity and consumer demand than point elasticity. It helps businesses determine the potential impact of price changes on their sales, revenue, and profitability. This measurement tool calculates the elasticity of demand over a range of prices rather than just a single point, taking into account the midpoint between two points to give a holistic picture of market responses. This allows businesses to better align their pricing strategies with market demands, enhancing their capacity to meet consumer needs while maximizing profit margins. Therefore, understanding and utilizing arc elasticity can be critical to successful business decision-making and financial planning.


Arc elasticity is a significant economic concept used by businesses and economists to determine the responsiveness or elasticity of one variable to changes in another variable over a specific arc or range on the demand or supply curve. Its purpose is to provide an averaged elasticity measure, offering a broad ‘average’ result and avoiding the pitfalls of point elasticity which can vary depending on the chosen point. It helps businesses in making decisions by providing an average measure of responsiveness over a distance rather than at a specific point. Commonly used in pricing and sales, Arc elasticity aids businesses to evaluate the potential impacts of a price change on the sales, or vice versa. It abets in predicting changes in demand based on adjustments in prices for effective price-optimization strategies, thus impacting a company’s profitability. For instance, if a particular product’s arc elasticity shows high responsiveness to price changes, the business might choose to adjust prices cautiously. Arc Elasticity delivers a more realistic and practical evaluation than point elasticity, especially in real-life scenarios where changes might not always be infinitesimally small.


1. Price Changes in Retail: Imagine a retail store that sells clothes and the store manager decides to adjust the price of a popular product, like a t-shirt, to see how it impacts sales. The manager raises the price of the t-shirt from $10 to $15, and this results in a decrease in sales by a certain percentage. The arc elasticity in this situation would be used to calculate the responsiveness of the consumers to the new price and assess the percentage change in quantity demanded over the percentage change in price.2. Stock Market Fluctuations: Due to economic indicators, such as employment rate or inflation, a company’s stock prices may fluctuate. If an investor wants to assess the sensitivity of the stock’s price change to that particular economic variable, he could use arc elasticity. It would reflect the percentage change in stock price over the percentage change in the economic variable.3. Pricing in Hospitality Industry: Consider a hotel that changes its room rates depending on the season. During off-peak times, they might charge $100 per night, but during peak tourist season, they raise the rate to $150 per night. By noting the change in room bookings due to this price increase, the hotel can use arc elasticity to determine how sensitive their customers are to price changes.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Arc Elasticity?

Arc Elasticity is a measure of responsiveness or elasticity that shows the percentage change in quantity demanded or supplied due to an average percentage change in price. It is commonly used in economics when there is not a general starting and ending point.

How is Arc Elasticity calculated?

The calculation for Arc elasticity uses the formula: [(Change in Quantity) / (Average Quantity)] / [(Change in Price) / (Average Price)].

What is the significance of Arc Elasticity in business and finance?

Understanding Arc Elasticity is crucial for businesses as it helps to predict consumers’ responsiveness to price changes, thereby aiding in determining pricing strategies. It also helps in forecasting the effects of pricing changes on total revenue.

How is Arc Elasticity different from Point Elasticity?

Unlike point elasticity that calculates elasticity at a specific point on the demand or supply curve, Arc Elasticity provides an average elasticity over a range of the curve, making it more suitable for larger intervals.

What does a high Arc Elasticity mean?

A high Arc Elasticity indicates that the quantity demanded or supplied is very responsive to price changes. This means that a slight change in price could significantly impact the quantity demanded or supplied.

What does a low Arc Elasticity mean?

A low Arc Elasticity means that the quantity demanded or supplied is not very responsive to price changes. In this situation, a change in price does not significantly affect the quantity demanded or supplied.

Where can I apply the concept of Arc Elasticity?

Arc Elasticity is extensively applied in areas such as market research, pricing strategy, product development and sales forecasting. It is a fundamental concept for any business that is focused on maximizing profits by optimizing their pricing strategy.

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