0
$\begingroup$

Elasticity in economics : "Elasticity is a general concept which basically means how sensitive one quantity is with respect to some other quantity." (this is from an answer here), so it's like how far the demand can get when the price changes. While elasticity in physics seems to be quite the opposite "elasticity is the ability of a body to resist a distorting influence and to return to its original size and shape when that influence or force is removed." (from wikipedia)

Do they seem to you opposite ? Or is the concept of resistivity vs. sensitivity is absent in the economics definition ?

I think we should drop the concept of how difficult or how easy it is for the demand to follow the price. It should be just a measurement but in this case we should also use another term instead of elasticity. Agree ?

The reason I'm asking is that I find it odd to have kind of opposite meanings in different fields of science.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure if I understand the question, inflation has also different definition in physics than in economics and yet different meaning in biology. Do you consider it a problem that different and unrelated fields use different nomenclature? Defining price elasticity as sensitivity to the price changes makes complete sense in economics, even if it might not work for physics... $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Jan 14 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I consider it a problem, and yet I was making sure of my understanding $\endgroup$ – YoussefDir Jan 14 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ well then it’s really off topic here as it’s purely opinion based. I could ask why does physics do not adjust their definition to fit with economics? $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Jan 14 at 11:39
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ but the point of the terms is not to make switch from physics to economics easy but to make the economics research optimal. Using physics definitions often simply does not make sense in economic settings and vice versa. For example, chronologically the inflation was first applied to economics as a change in price level and later to physics as expansion of space time - it makes no sense to unify the terms just so it’s easier for those very few people switching between the fields $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Jan 14 at 11:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yet inflation in both cases is augmenting something (as a first clue)... The first clue is really good to conserve. Anyway, I highly respect your opinion. $\endgroup$ – YoussefDir Jan 14 at 11:54

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.