Elasticity refers to the degree in which supply or demand curves reacts to fluctuations in prices. Elasticity displays differences in commodities as some are more essential to consumers than others. Necessities are more unresponsive to alterations in prices owing to the fact that people will continue to purchase them no matter the changes in prices. Contrariwise, a price increase in a less necessary good or service deters more consumers hence lesser demand since the opportunity cost of buying that product becomes high. Slight changes in prices of highly elastic products cause a sharp change in the demand and supply of the commodity. Such products are usually readily available and one does not necessarily need them on a daily basis. On the other hand, changes in prices of inelastic goods cause just modest changes in the demand and supply of the good. Such products are required by the consumers in their daily lives.
For the elasticity equal to or greater than one, the curve is said to be elastic, otherwise, it is said to be inelastic. The curve below shows the elastic demand for a highly elastic commodity. Slight decreases in price cause a large increase in the quantity demanded.
An inelastic commodity is represented by a more upright curve since large changes in prices result to little changes in the quantity demanded.
The supply curve of an elastic commodity appears flatter; this is because slight changes in prices of the commodity result to large supply changes.
On the other hand, large changes in prices of an inelastic good result to minor changes in the quantity supplied as shown below.
Thus, demand and supply of a commodity for elastic goods are dependent on the changes in prices, while changes in prices have little effects on the supply and demand of an inelastic product.
Heakal, Reem. "Economics Basics: Elasticity." 7 January 2014. Investopedia. Website. 23 February 2014.