Note: This database is no longer being updated.

Scope of Database

The database contains a collection of demand elasticities—expenditure, income, own price, and cross price—for a range of commodities and food products for over 100 countries.

The following two ERS reports and accompanying data set account for almost all of the countries in the database but not many of the elasticities. Most of the elasticities are from studies on the United States and China.

Elasticities for fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, oilseeds, and some processed foods are in the database. The greatest number of demand studies are for vegetables, fruits, and grocery products such as coffee and ketchup. Like the country coverage, the extent of the commodity coverage is from International Food Consumption Patterns, which estimates price and income elasticities for eight food groups: bread and cereals, meat, fish, dairy products, fats and oils, fruit and vegetables, beverages and tobacco, and other food products.

Literature Sources

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. To ensure proper citation of these sources, bibliographic information is provided for each elasticity presented in the Demand Elasticities from Literature Results. Information includes the author(s), full journal citation, title of the source table, and publication date.

See Citation List for a complete list of studies in the database. Citations are listed alphabetically by the last name of the lead author.

Search Results

Users can query the literature in the database for own- and cross-price, income, and expenditure elasticities for specific commodities and countries.

After a query has been submitted, a results table will be displayed. In addition to elasticity estimates, supporting details—such as the author, publication date, time period covered by the research, model used, functional form, and model properties—are also presented. Some of the results (columns with titles in blue) can be sorted and ranked (see How To Use the Database for details). Information on the model used, its functional form, and its properties are provided to give users some context for the reported elasticities.

Model Used

The most common demand models in the literature review are Double-Log, Translog, the Rotterdam Model, Linear Expenditure System (LES), and Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS). See Commodity Elasticity Models in the Glossary for a short explanation.

Model Functional Form

Consumer demand models generally have the following functional forms: Hicksian or Compensated; Marshallian, Ordinary, or Uncompensated; Conditional; or Unconditional. The functional forms model consumer behavior to determine the quantity of goods consumers are willing or able to purchase (the dependent variable) given changes in prices or consumer incomes (the independent variables). See Demand Functions in the Glossary for a short explanation.

Model Properties

For each study in database, the demand properties reported in the results table are homogeneity, additivity, symmetry, and negativity when satisfied by that particular demand study. Demand models exhibit specific theoretical properties based on the assumptions used to derive the functions. For example, Marshallian demand properties include additivity and homogeneity, while Hicksian demand properties include additivity, homogeneity, negativity, and symmetry. See Demand Properties in the Glossary for a short explanation.

Statistical Information

Below the large results table is a smaller table containing summary statistical information—minimum, maximum, mean, and standard deviation—for the elasticities in the results table. For example, a summary would look like this:

Commodity Elasticity information Minimum Maximum Mean Standard deviation
Bread Cross price -0.022300 0.073900 0.025380 0.03646
Cereal Expenditure 0.611200 0.788400 0.706220 0.0657
Cereal Own price -0.581100 -0.524400 -0.547930 0.02247

Reporting Errors

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.

Download the Data

To download all of the demand elasticities in database, click on the link below.

  • Demand Elasticities from Literature. Each row in the file contains an individual elasticity and its related study information: citation, country, type of data, data period, citation table number and name, model properties, major and minor commodities, elasticity type, and significance level. (Last updated, February 2006)