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I am really confused between monotonic preferences and strictly monotonic preferences, I saw some video and read certain answer where it is mentioned that the

  • When preferences are monotone / weak monotonic preference, the
    consumer prefers more of both goods.
  • When preferences are strictly monotone or having strong monotonic preference, the consumer prefers more of one good but no less of the other.

(source: https://www.learnpick.in/questions/details/11169/what-is-a-monotonic-preference)

whereas when I read this other paper it says

  • Monotonicity means that if c1 contains more of some or all commodities, but no less of any, than c2 (c1 ≥ c2) then c1 ≿ c2.
  • Strict monotonicity means that if c1 contains more of each commodity than c2 (c1 > c2) then c1 strictly prefered c2

(source: http://www.math.uchicago.edu/~may/VIGRE/VIGRE2008/REUPapers/Shon.pdf)

I am confused as both the answers are quite contradicting as the (first as per sequence I mentioned) says that in strict preferences the consumer more of at least one good but no less of the other.

whereas (second as per sequence I mentioned) says in strict monotonicity we prefer more of both the goods. Also, I am able to understand the graphical representation of the monotonicity. Please tell me where I am getting it wrong I am really stuck on this. Thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ See the first para of wiki page on monotonic preferences. Does this answer your question? $\endgroup$ – Dayne Nov 2 '20 at 16:39
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The word monotonic means "always moving in the same direction", in our case, always going up.

Monotonic preferences mean that the customer always prefers more of a good.

This comes in two flavors:

  1. Strictly monotonic: More of one good is always preferred to less of that good.
  2. Weakly monotonic: More of one good is always equivalent or better than less of that good.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for answering. Just one more doubt: so we will represent Strict monotonicity as c1 ≻ c2 (where c1 has more of both the goods)Weakly monotonicity as c1 ≿ c2 (where c1 has more of at least one of two good but no less of the other good) $\endgroup$ – Anishka Mishra Nov 2 '20 at 17:13
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    $\begingroup$ Minor edit: The content in parens should be the same for both: Strict monotonicity as c1 ≻ c2 (where c1 has more of at least one good but no less of any other good) Weakly monotonicity as c1 ≿ c2 (where c1 has more of at least one good but no less of any other good) $\endgroup$ – RegressForward Nov 2 '20 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ okay, thanks a lot! :) $\endgroup$ – Anishka Mishra Nov 2 '20 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ Sir, where can I find a graphical representation of strictly and weakly monotonic preferences? If you have any idea or suggestion for the references please let me know. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Anishka Mishra Nov 2 '20 at 17:22
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    $\begingroup$ The Cobb-Douglas function $U(L,K) = L^\alpha * K^{1-\alpha}$ is strictly monotonic in preferences. Plot it with U on the vertical and it will be a nice smooth arch increasing in L and K. $\endgroup$ – RegressForward Nov 2 '20 at 20:19

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