# How to find the price elasticity of demand?

I need help answering if this is demand elastic of inelastic.

A policy adviser suggests that in order to improve its balance of trade with china, Canada should lower the price of some heavy machinery equipment. Suppose the demand function is: $$Q=\frac{5000}{(3P+1)^2}$$ Where $Q$ is quantity per year and $p$ is price (measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Find an expression for the price elasticity of demand for this equipment. Suppose the current $p$ is equal to $3$; at this price is the demand elastic or inelastic?

I can't determine how to get the expression, any help would be great!

• What are the formulas, definitions, or equations of interest for this type of problem? Nov 17, 2014 at 2:51

\begin{align}PED &= \frac{dQ}{dP}\cdot\frac{P}{Q}\\ &=\frac{P}{Q}\cdot\frac{d}{dP}\left(\frac{5000}{(3p+1)^2}\right)\\ &=\frac{P(3P+1)^2}{5000}\cdot\frac{-30000}{(3P+1)^3}\\ &=\frac{-6P}{3P+1}\end{align}
At $P = 3$, $PED = -1.8$. Since $|PED| = 1.8 > 1$, then by the definition of "elastic", the demand is price elastic at $P=3$ since a change in $P$ yields a more than proportionate change in $Q$.