marginal utility

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Related to Marginal-utility: marginal utility of money, Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

Marginal utility

The change in total satisfaction as a result of consuming one additional unit of a specific good or service.

Marginal Utility

In economics, the level of satisfaction a person derives from a good or service. Marginal utility is inherently subjective and thus difficult to measure, but it is important to determining how much supply of a product the market can handle without diminishing demand. Historically, it has been thought that one can quantify the marginal utility of each unit, but some economists disagree with this. See also: Austrian school, Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility.

marginal utility

the increase in satisfaction (UTILITY) a consumer derives from the use or CONSUMPTION of one additional (incremental) unit of a good or service in a particular time period. For example, if a consumer, having eaten three bars of chocolate, then eats a fourth bar, his TOTAL UTILITY will increase, and if he goes on to eat a fifth bar, his total utility will increase further. However, the marginal (incremental) utility derived from consuming the fifth bar of chocolate would tend not to be as great as the marginal utility from consuming the fourth bar, the consumer experiencing DIMINISHING MARGINAL UTILITY as he becomes sated with the product.

Most goods and services are subject to diminishing marginal utility, with consumers being prepared to pay less for successive units of these products since they are yielding lower levels of satisfaction. This explains why the DEMAND CURVE for such products slopes downwards. See CARDINAL UTILITY, ORDINAL UTILITY, CONSUMER UTILITY, CONSUMER EQUILIBRIUM, PARETO OPTIMALITY, PARADOX OF VALUE.

References in periodicals archive ?
This inability to prove the sameness of the marginal-utility curves of different people troubled Blum and Kalven to the point that they dismissed sacrifice theory as a theory on which to base a fair tax system:
If there is no accurate way to draw any individual's marginal-utility curve, there is no way to compare the curves of different persons.
Given that a change in the credit spread (and in the anticipated future path of credit spreads, which determines the marginal-utility gap, [[OMEGA].