The law of demand establishes an inverse relationship between quantity demanded and the price of the commodity. But this law does not state the degree of change in demand due to change in price. There are commodities the demand of which is more responsive and of others less responsive to change in price. The degree of responsiveness of demand to change in price of the commodity is known as elasticity of demand.

According to Prof Alfred Marshall, “The elasticity (or responsiveness) of demand in market is great or small according as the amount demanded increases much or little for a given fall in price and diminishes much or little for a given rise in price.”

In other words of Prof. Boulding, “Elasticity of demand measures the responsiveness of demand to changes in price.”

A.K.C Cairncross states, “The elasticity of demand for a commodity is the rate at which quantity bought changes as the price changes.”


According to Meyers, “Elasticity of demand is a measure of the relative change in the amount purchased in response to any change in price on a given demand curve.”

Prof. Samuelson has considered elasticity of demand as a concept devised to indicate the degree of responsiveness of quantity demanded to change in market price.

Generally, elasticity of demand refers to price elasticity of demand.