Ch 7-8 - CONSUMER THEORY - Utility and demand & Possibilites, preferences and choices

Ch 7-8 - CONSUMER THEORY - Utility and demand & Possibilites, preferences and choices

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CONSUMER THEORY 1 CONSUMER THEORY 1 Ch. 7: Ch. 7: Utility and Demand Utility and Demand Olivier Giovannoni ECO 304K: Introduction to Microeconomics
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1. Budget constraints 1. Budget constraints A budget constraint describes the limits to consumption choices given the prices of the goods and the total expenditure. Typically for two goods 1 and good 2 we have: The budget constraint is a decreasing line (slope is –p 1 /p 2 ) with y -intercept B/p 1 . It is similar to the PPF, but for the consumer. { { { 1 1 2 2 total spent total spent budget on good 1 on good 2 total amount consumed 2 2 1 2 1 2 p q p q B solving for q we get q (p p )q B p + - + 1 442 4 43 Ch 7 & 8 – Consumer theory - 2
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1. Budget constraints (…) 1. Budget constraints (…) 2 1 2 1 2 q (p p )q B p 2 - + q 1 q 2 slope = -p 1 /p 2 This is called the relative price of good 1 with respect to good 2 y -intercept = B/p 2 Budget constraint attainable not attainable q 1 q 2 q 1 q 2 Change in budget (or income): changes in the intercept Change in (relative) price: changes the slope Ch 7 & 8 – Consumer theory - 3
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2. Preferences and utility maxim. 2. Preferences and utility maxim. How do we decide what goods to consume and in which proportions (which point on the budget line)? we optimize the utility we get from our consumption choices, under our budget constraint. Utility is a unit-free measure of satisfaction. Total utility is the sum of the satisfaction we get from the consumption of good 1 and 2, in a certain proportion. Marginal utility is the change in total utility we get from a one-unit increase in the quantity of one good. The Ch 7 & 8 – Consumer theory - 4
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So we optimize our utility under the constraint of our budget. This is utility maximization (and reflects scarcity). Positions under the budget line are not optimal because we could consume more hand thus have greater utility Conversely, positions above the budget line are not attainable because of a lack of income The optimizing choice is on the budget line : by consuming all your income you maximize your utility. A consumer equilibrium is the situation when all income is spent in the way that maximizes someone’s utility. 2. Preferences and utility maxim. 2. Preferences and utility maxim.
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2009 for the course ECON 32975 taught by Professor Giovannoni during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Ch 7-8 - CONSUMER THEORY - Utility and demand & Possibilites, preferences and choices

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