Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Price Sensitivity

What it is:

In consumer behavior, price sensitivity (also called the elasticity of demand) is the degree to which price affects the sales of a product or service.

Thus, the formula for price sensitivity is:
Price Sensitivity = % Change in Quantity Purchased/% Change in Price

In the bond world, duration is a measure of a bond’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates.
 

How it works (Example):

Let's assume that when Tropicana orange juice prices increase by 50%, Tropicana orange juice purchases fall by 25%. Using the formula above, we can calculate that the price sensitivity for Tropicana orange juice is:

Price Sensitivity = -25%/50% = -0.50

Thus, we can say that for every percentage point that Tropicana orange juice prices increase, purchases decrease by half a percentage point.

Why it Matters:

If demand for a product changes a lot when its price changes a little, it’s safe to say that consumers of that product are very price sensitive. This often is the case for products or services for which there are many alternatives or when the product is essentially a commodity, such as orange juice.

Of course, the opposite is also true: If there is a small change in demand when prices change a lot, the product is said to be less price sensitive, or inelastic. This is often the case for products and services that people consider necessities and will purchase at almost any price. The presence of few good substitutes, the wealth and income of the consumer, and customer loyalty are also factors. At some point, however, there is a price at which demand for any good or service will fall to zero or near zero.
 

Related Terms View All
  • Auction Market
    Though most of the trading is done via computer, auction markets can also be operated via...
  • Best Execution
    Let's assume you place an order to buy 100 shares of Company XYZ stock. The current quote...
  • Book-Entry Savings Bond
    Savings bonds are bonds issued by the U.S. government at face values ranging from $50 to...
  • Break-Even Point
    The basic idea behind break-even point is to calculate the point at which revenues begin...
  • Calendar Year
    If Company XYZ starts its fiscal year on January 1 and ends its fiscal year on December...