optimum


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optimum

the best possible outcome within a given set of circumstances. For example, in the theory of CONSUMER EQUILIBRIUM, a consumer with a given income and facing set prices for products will adjust the purchases of these products so as to maximize the utility or satisfaction to be derived from spending his or her limited income. Similarly, in the THEORY OF THE FIRM, a business confronted by a given market price for its product will adjust its output of that product so as to maximize its profits. See also PROFIT MAXIMIZATION, OPTIMIZING, PARETO OPTIMALITY.