Perfectly Inelastic Demand

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Definition of Perfectly Inelastic Demand:

A perfectly inelastic demand is a demand where the quantity demanded does not respond to price.

Detailed Explanation:

The implication of a perfectly inelastic demand is that price does not matter; the consumer would purchase the same amount of a good or service at every price. Life saving drugs are examples of goods with a nearly perfect inelastic demand, especially if there are no substitutes. For example, a diabetic must have a specific amount of insulin. Without insulin, the diabetic dies, but risks overdosing when more than necessary is taken. The quantity demanded of insulin would not be affected by a change in its price. This was more true when insulin was first developed. Insulin is more elastic now, because pharmaceutical companies have created substitutes and new treatments. 

The demand curve for a perfectly inelastic demand would be vertical as shown on the graph below. Qwould be purchased at every price.

Dig Deeper With These Free Lessons:

Price Elasticity of Demand - How Does a Consumer Respond to a Price Change
Demand - The Consumer's Perspective
Supply and Demand - When Consumers and Producers Reach Agreement

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