The law of demand versus diminishing marginal utility
Diminishing marginal utility (DMU) is neither necessary nor sufficient for downward-sloping demand. Yet, upper-division undergraduate and beginning graduate students often presume otherwise. This paper provides two simple counter-examples that can be used to help students understand that the Law of Demand does not depend on DMU. The examples are accompanied with the geometry and basic mathematics of the utility functions and the implied ordinary/Marshallian demands. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.
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Monash Economics Working Papers
archive-34, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Jeffrey T. LaFrance & Harry de Gorter, 1985. "Regulation in a Dynamic Market: The U.S. Dairy Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 67(4), pages 821-832.
- Burt, Oscar R & Brewer, Durward, 1971. "Estimation of Net Social Benefits from Outdoor Recreation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 813-27, September.
- LaFrance, Jeffrey T., 1985. "Linear demand functions in theory and practice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 147-166, October.
- Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
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