Economists have observed that spending on restaurant meals declines more during economic downturns than does spending on food to be eaten at home. How might the concept of elasticities help explain this?
Elasticity refers to the responsiveness of quantity demanded with changes in the price or income. When demand is income elastic, the % change in quantity is higher than the % change in income. On the other hand, when demand is income inelastic, the % change in quantity is lower than the % change income. The income elasticity of restaurant food is higher than the income elasticity of home food. This is why income falls due to recession, the spending on restaurant meals falls higher than the spending on home food.
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