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Posts Tagged ‘Demand Elasticity’

Who Wins (or Loses) in Overtime Exemption?

The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to end the overtime exemption of “companions” (home assistants typically employed to assist/watch the infirm elderly) employed by an agency. The exemption would remain for companions employed directly by a private individual. This rule would lead to classic results: 1) Higher labor costs through agencies, no doubt passed onto older people in the form of higher prices, leading to less employment through agencies; 2) A shift to more companions employed directly by individuals.

I’m not sure what the demand elasticity for companions is, but it is unlikely to be small.

The Price of Blown Glass: Opportunity Cost and Demand Elasticity

A puzzle. My nephew has switched to making art glass full-time, and I think his work is gorgeous. His problem, though, is figuring out what price to charge. Among other things, he blows gorgeous candlesticks, which he thought of selling for $70 a pair. I say he should charge $250 a pair. He says no, because he thinks he can sell many more at the lower price.
He assumes it takes one hour of his time to blow a pair after he’s done the first pair, and incurred the fixed cost. So I guess his decision depends on the opportunity cost of his time and the elasticity of demand for his product. Clearly, there is a set of combinations of the cost of his time and the expected change in quantity sold that would make him indifferent between the high and low prices, with a higher opportunity cost requiring a higher demand elasticity if the price is lower.
Given the two prices, what is this set? And what do you think the demand elasticity actually is in this case? (HT to SEH)