Elasticity of subsitution is a measure of the curvature of an isoquant1 and can provide us information regarding the nature of the production functions we are dealing with. this is visualized in Advanced Microeconomic Theory by Geoffrey A. Jehle (Author), Philip J. Reny (page 130 in the book) as:

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However I wonder, isn't this information regarding the curvature of a isoquant given by the production function? what novel information does the calculation of elasticity of substitution provide us with?

1. I'm aware that elasticity of substitution can also be applied to consumer theory, just that its dominant in producer theory.

  • $\begingroup$ Graphing would be enough except that you'd have to make a 3-dimensional graph, which is cumbersome. $\endgroup$
    – Herr K.
    May 8, 2018 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ @HerrK. 3-dimensions have another problem from what i know, MRTS is a calculation made between only two inputs, so for more than that i'm not sure what you would do. $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn
    May 13, 2018 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ de la Grandville, O. (1997): "Curvature and the Elasticity of Substitution: Straightening It Out," Journal of Economics, 1, pp. 23-34 challenges the notion that "is a measure of the curvature of an isoquant." $\endgroup$
    – Patricio
    Mar 6, 2019 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


Why would one need to graph the function? Isn't any information in the graph already given in the function?

In a certain sense all calculations are redundant as they are mathematical tautologies. Yet these indices make some things more clear, which is obviously useful.

  • $\begingroup$ an interesting comment, but not quite an answer. I'm interested in the novel information that the calculation of elasticity of subsidization provides us with that I cant learn from other calculations. $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn
    May 7, 2018 at 19:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @EconJohn I would recommend making your question more clear then. This has nothing to do with drawing graphs. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    May 7, 2018 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @EconJohn Please make your question much more clear. It has not been answered for a month. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jun 7, 2018 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ I did the edits. $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn
    Jun 7, 2018 at 13:34

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