Agricultural economists often require information and estimates on price and income elasticities for their research and analysis. The ERS Commodity and Food Elasticities Database is a collection of elasticities from research on consumer demand published in working papers, dissertations, and peer-reviewed journals and as presented at professional conferences in the United States. Most of the literature is from academic and government research conducted in the United States. (See Literature Sources in the Documentation for more information.)
The database allows queriable searches of income, expenditure, and own- and cross-price elasticities for specific commodities and countries, which can be ranked and sorted. Elasticities for fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, oilseeds, and some processed food are included. (See Scope of Database in the Documentation for more information.) Bibliographic information for the demand elasticities—such as author and journal citation, type of demand system, properties satisfied, and type of data—is also included. Query results can be saved in Microsoft Excel or Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
How To Use the Database provides a step-by-step guide on how to use the Demand Elasticities from Literature query page to retrieve elasticities in the database, access supporting information, and download the results.
Having a database of price, income, and expenditure elasticities of demand for major commodities and trading countries enables more accurate research on production, consumption, and trade. The ability to search by commodity and country in combination may facilitate targeted comparisons of price (own-price and cross-price) and income elasticities derived from widely used elasticity models.
The database will be useful to researchers estimating demand systems, to applied researchers developing models, and to industry analysts. Researchers doing demand estimations may use this database to compare their results to the range of elasticities provided for different commodities. Researchers developing models may compare their current models to the range of elasticities in the database. Industry analysts may use elasticities for quick market analysis when, for example, trade patterns change due to a plant or animal disease outbreak.
The database is not complete. It focuses on price, income, and expenditure elasticities of demand. Most of the demand elasticities in the database are from academic and government research conducted in the United States on consumer demand, as published in working papers, dissertations, and peer-reviewed journals and as presented at professional conferences in the United States. The database is meant as a research tool for the economics community and is not a definitive collection of elasticities.
If you find an error in the database, please notify the contacts below. Please specify the exact location and item in the database that needs to be corrected. A future version of the database will include instructions on how users can add elasticities to the database from published, peer-reviewed sources.
Last updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018
For more information contact: James Hansen and Nora Brooks
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