A-AS Level (CIE) Business Studies Paper-3: Specimen Questions with Answers 12 - 14 of 20

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Case Study-2

Adam, the owner of Ever-Joy Ice-Cream Center, near University Campus, was also a part time student of management studies in a Commerce College. After having studied the theory of price elasticity of demand, he thought that the demand for ice-cream should be price elastic. For an experiment ho announced special-reduced price for the Ever Joy Ice-Cream cone in the second week of August 2001 under the 54th Independence Anniversary Week. He observed the following sales outcome.

He Observed the Following Sales Outcome
AugustPriceTotal Sales
I week$ 51000
II Week$ 41500

Finding demand elasticity to be much above unity, he inferred that the price reduction led the total sales revenue to increase. This outcome encouraged him to reduce the price in October on permanent basis to ₹ 4.50. To his utter surprise he found that his average weekly sales revenue rather declined to ₹ 4,770.

What happened? Though the average weekly demand had risen to 1060 with the price reduction the sales revenue declined. Because, this time the degree of price elasticity is demand suddenly become price inelastic? Why? What went wrong?

Adam՚s approach to price policy was purely theoretical, assuming all other things being equal. He did not care to look at other factors influencing the demand for ice-cream, such as possibilities like winter, climate adverse effects, similar price-war by the rivals shops in the area. Besides, Adam offered a 20 % price reduction temporarily in August only for a week, so most buyers responded to take the advantage and probably the rival did not retaliate knowing it was a short-term phenomenon at that time. Furthermore, now when the buyers realized that price- reduction in October is permanent, they did not react much on the buying-spree. In the previous case of price reduction, the buyers expected that in future - after the celebration work is over- price will go back to the original level, therefore, they purchased more. This phenomenon of further expectations was also not taken into accounting determining the later price-reduction policy. In short, the business excision of Adam was misled by overestimation of price elasticity from the very short-term data in a special situation rather than resorting to demand estimation based on the long-term sales data under normal circumstances.

From Adam՚s experience, we should learn one important lesson that any judgement based on an aerial view may not always be good. Besides, reality widely differs from theory. Real life is never simple as depicted in theory. Managerial decision making in practice is, therefore, more of an art than science.

Question 12 (2 of 10 Based on Passage)


Write in Short

Short Answer▾

Distinguish between Price Elasticity of demand and Income elasticity of demand.


Distinguish between Price Elasticity of Demand and Income Elasticity of Demand
S. No.Price ElasticityIncome Elasticity
1.Price elasticity measures the change in quantity demanded against change in price of that product.Income elasticity of demand measures the change in quantity demanded against consumer՚s income.
2.General relationship between price and quantity demanded is adverse although there are some exceptionsGeneral relationship between price and quantity demanded is positive although there are some exceptions.
3.Products can be categorized as elastic, inelastic and unitary elasticProducts can be categorized as inferior, luxury, normal, necessities etc.

Question 13 (3 of 10 Based on Passage)


Write in Short

Short Answer▾

Calculate the price elasticity coefficient that Adam worked out.


Adam worked out price elasticity coefficient in this case to be:

Question 14 (4 of 10 Based on Passage)


Describe in Detail


What is the practical application of elasticity of demand in economics and business. ?


The concept of elasticity of demand has a wide range of practical application in economics and business.

  • To businessman: The concept of elasticity of demand is of utmost practical use in decision making. The business must know the effect of change in price on the demand of the product in the market. He would have to consider whether a lowering of price will lead to expansion or contraction of demand for his product and if it will change then to what extent the total revenue changes.
  • To the government and finance minister: Elasticity of demand is useful in determining the fiscal policy. Elasticity of demand of various commodities is considered by the finance minister for taxation purpose.
  • In International Trade: It is used in formulating export import policies of a country and further in determining terms in sphere of international trade.
  • To policy makers: The concept is used by the policy makers in determining how farmers remain poor despite a bumper crop. Agricultural products have an inelastic demand and bumper crops can be sold only by cutting prices substantially.

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