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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 4 Review: Utility A utility function is a way of assigning a number to every possible con sumption bundle such that morepreferred bundles get assigned larger num bers than lesspreferred bundles.Tht is, ( x 1 ,x 2 ) ´ ( y 1 ,y 2 ) if and only if u ( x 1 ,x 2 ) > u ( y 1 ,y 2 ). The only property of a utility assignment that is important is how it it orders or ranks the bundles of goods; the actual size of the utility difference between any tow consumption bundles doesn’t matter. This kind of utility is known as ordinal utility . A monotonic transformation is way of transforming one set of num bers into another set of numbers in a way that preserves the order of the numbers. Examples of (positive) monotonic transformation are multiplica tion by some positive number (e.g., f ( u ) = 3 u ), adding a constant (e.g., f ( u ) = u + 15), raising u to an odd power ( f ( u ) = u 3 ), etc. The rate of change of f ( u ) as u changes can be measured by looking at the change in f between two values of u , divided by the change in u : 4 f 4 u = f ( u 2...
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 Spring '10
 YY
 Microeconomics, Utility

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