Questions tagged [consumer-theory]

the study of consumer choice and its fundamental underpinnings in preferences and constraints.

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18 views

Does the duality of utility maximization and cost minimization hold in practice?

I recently learned about the relationship between utilization maximization and cost minimization. Are there studies on whether this duality holds in real life? Any information on this topic for a ...
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70 views

Mathematics of the income and substitution effects

I have recently been learning about the concept of utility and the indifference curve. I am having some problems understanding the effects on consumption of two goods $X$ and $Y$ of a change in the ...
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1answer
32 views

Whether a good is a Giffen good should be based on circumstance?

The textbook example of a Giffen good is the potato during the Irish Potato Famine. It is characterised by a positive income effect that is larger than the negative substitution effect when the price ...
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86 views

Marshalian and Hickisian Demands and Slutsky Equation

everyone. I have the following question: A consumer has the following indirect utility function: $ V(p_1,p_2,b) = (p_2k-b)p_1^{-1} \left[ \frac{2p_2k - 2b}{p_2} \right]^{-2}, x_2 < k$ a) Find ...
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21 views

How has decreasing quality (or the need to pay more for the same quality) tracked with inflation?

I'm trying to identity a missing variable that could affect poor and middle class consumers more than more wealthy/resourceful individuals. Assuming that there are decisions regarding cost reductions ...
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209 views

Price-consumption curve

Suppose a consumer whose income is $b$ has a utility function given by $U(x,y) = 2xy+y^2$ with the price of $x$ being $p_x$ and the price of $y$ being $p_y$. Draw the price-consumption curve assuming ...
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208 views

Derive demand function $x(p,w)$ from utility function $u(x) = \min\{x_1, x_2\} + x_3$

I know how to solve the two-good case with $u(x) = \min\{x1, x2\}$, but the addition of $x3$ confuses me. Problem Derive the demand function $x(p,w)$ from $u(x) = \min\{x1, x2\} + x3$ What I did ...
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7k views

How to derive utility possibility frontier?

I'm trying to derive the utility possibility frontier of a economy whose consumption contract curve is $$y_A = \frac {y} {x} x_A$$ and $$y_B = \frac {y} {x} x_B$$where $x_A + x_B = x$ and $y_A + y_B= ...
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9 views

Why is the demand, supply and Engel curves plotted with the dependant variable in the X axis and the independent variable in the Y axis?

I am new to economics and have read the first 7 chapters in Intermediate microeconomics by Hal R Varian. Throughout the text, graphs are drawn with the dependent variable (Quantity) in X and ...
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13 views

Aggregate CES Cobb-Douglas utility over different individuals

Suppose I have a CES Cobb-Douglas Utility function: $$U_i=X^{\alpha_i} Y^{1-\alpha_i}$$ Can I add utilities of different individuals meaningfully? I.e, where people have different $\alpha_i$. $$\...
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1answer
99 views

Consumer Utility Maximization equivalent of economies of scope

Economies of scope captures the idea of having efficiency in variety. I've come across this idea only in producer theory to capture the idea that companies may benefit from their ability to reduce ...
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1answer
139 views

Why is the marginal utility of money assumed to be constant in Marshallian Theory of Consumer Behaviour

While studying the Marshallian Theory of Consumer Behaviour, I came across the assumption that the marginal utility of money is assumed to be constant. Can someone please explain why is this so?
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Soft Question: Econometric model recommendation - covid situation and supermarket sales

I am interested in modelling the impact of the current covid pandemic on supermarket sales (in a specific country in Europe) as part of my bachelor's thesis (next year), however, I am having a hard ...
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29 views

Relationship between strictly convex preference and convex preference

Let X be a convex subset of linear topological space and let binary relation >= be a complete preordering. prove: If preference relation is strictly convex and continuous, then it is convex. Since ...
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Is there any evidence for consumer utility-maximising behaviour, at individual or market level?

Even though utility maximisation is ubiquitous in economic textbooks to model consumer behaviour, its usefulness is rarely demonstrated by evidence. Is there any evidence that some consumers do ...
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How do I derive the aggregate demand function given two utilities functions?

Assume that we have two people with the same utility function of $U_i = x^{1/2} + y^{1/2}$ where $i=1,2$ and $I_i$ is the income. Let $P_x$ denote price of good $x$ and $P_y$ denote price of good $y$. ...
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29 views

Empirical tests for symmetry of cross-price elasticities

It is a well known fact in consumer theory that for a Hicksian demand curve the cross-price elasticity of good $i$ with respect to the price of good $j$ equals the cross-price elasticity of good $j$ ...
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15 views

Optimising behaviour for labour supply

Suppose someone has an uncompensated labour supply schedule h(w,m)=A+Bw+Cm where h is hours of work, w is real wage rate and m is real unearned income. What are the requirements for optimising ...
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44 views

Cobb-Douglas function homotheticity

I've been given the Cobb-Douglas utility function: $\ u(q_1, q_2)=a\ln q_1+b\ln q_2=q_1^aq_2^b \ $ If I want to prove homothetic preferences, I use the following condition: $\ u(\lambda q_1, \...
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29 views

On Demand Functions and Engel Curves

A consumer has utility function $U(x,y)=(x−2)y$, where $x≥2$ and $y≥0$. The price of $x$ is $P_x$, the price of $y$ is $P_y$ and the consumer's income is $I>2P_x$. ($x$ and $y$ do not have to be ...
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Minimizing consumption in a single market( Partial Equilibrium)

Let there be a good X where the optimal consumption is 0; i.e the social costs for any unit provided would always be greater than the utility surplus of the market. We know that prohibiting it( ...
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2answers
108 views

Utility Functions: Implying endless consumption?

Do utility functions imply that if a consumer's income infinite, his consumption should also be infinite? The reason why I'd think this is the case is based on my basic understanding of utility ...
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1answer
64 views

Example of a utility maximization problem with a non-binding budget constraint

Given a utility function $U(x,y): \mathbb{R}^{2} \to \mathbb{R}$, the general utility maximization can be stated as follows: $$ \max_{x, y} U(x,y) \text{ s.t. } p_{x}x + p_{y}y \leq m $$ where the $...
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56 views

Why can utility functions be continuous, and what does this imply for marginal utility?

I am studying microeconomics at the introductory undergraduate level and two related but distinct questions are puzzling me. First, my textbooks express utility functions as continuous functions by ...
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621 views

Fast way to write out the utility optimization problem for a Cobb-Douglas function?

In my last problem set, I had to solve both the Utility Maximization Problem (UMP) and Expenditure Minimization Problem (EMP) for a Cobb Douglas utility function. Recall, Cobb Douglas is defined as $$...
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37 views

Shortcuts for elasticity of substitution

How can I find the elasticity of substitution (I know the definition) if I know the utility function $u(x,y)$? I know its increasing in $x$ and $y$, etcetera, and has everything else you want from a ...
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94 views

On shapes of indifference curves

I encountered this question in Microeconomics by Pindyck and Rubinfeld. The question says that "Suppose Jones and Smith have each decided to allocate $1000 per year to an entertainment budget in the ...
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1answer
54 views

Budget Constraint in Utility Maximisation Problem with Lagrange Multipliers

Lets say we have a utility function $U: \mathbb{R}^{2} \to \mathbb{R}$ given by $U(x,y)$ and a binding budget constraint $p_{x} x + p_{y} y = m$, where $p_{x}, p_{y}$ are prices of goods $x,y$ and $m$ ...
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24 views

Optimizing Lagrangian Function Subject to 4 Input/Output Constraints:

The objective function: $$\text{utility}=U\left(x_{c}, y_{c}\right)$$ subject to, $x_{o}=f\left(y_{i}\right)$ $y_{o}=g\left(x_{i}, x_{o}\right)$ $x_{c}+x_{i}=x_{o}+x^{*}$ $y_{c}+y_{i}=y_{o}+y^{*}$ ...
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828 views

Intertemporal consumption question

This question is driving me nuts. Suppose, an individual lives for two periods. In each period she consumes only one good,which is rice. In period 2, she can costlessly produce 1 unit of rice, but ...
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206 views

MWG Example 3.E.1

I do not understand how Mas-Collel, Whinston, and Green derive the Hicksian demand functions in Example 3.E.1 in their textbook. Allow me to give further background regarding the problem: The ...
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1answer
54 views

How to find Marshallian demand of $u(x,y,z)=x+y^2+2z^2$?

Consider the utility function $u(x)=x+y^2+2z^2$. How to derive Marshallian demand for a consumer with these preferences?
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weakly preferred consumer bundles

I am currently studying consumer choice and saw that weak preference refers to when an individual prefers or is indifferent to two bundles (such as bundle A and bundle B). I was wondering what is ...
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Is Buy Nothing Day a classist protest of Black Friday?

I hope this isn't off topic, it seems specifically economic to me even though it probably intersects with other fields of study. Black Friday is seen as an iconic hallmark of consumerism, and Buy ...
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207 views

Corner solution of the maximization problem

Answer Hello, I upload the actual question with my 8-pages answer. Please can you check it. Is there a corner dissolution for $c=\gamma$. Please share your ideas. Thanks.
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1k views

Utility function used to indicate bliss point

How does one create a utility function to indicate existence of a bliss point? what do the goods marshillian demands look like in such a situation?
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Special case for wealth allocation with quasilinear utility functions

Building on this question, regarding the answer from Bkay: Is it a general statement that when $m < \frac{p_y^2}{4 p_x}$, all income will be allocated to $x_M$? What about the case when the ...
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31 views

Change in Consumer Surplus with two goods

Suppose we have two goods, price changes in the two are independent; having seen this question I am considering why the change in total Consumer Surplus is the sum of the change in Consumer Surplus ...
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Are there any other rational preference relations without utility function representations, besides Lexicographic?

It seems like lexicographic isn't that "special". Like yes it is special in that supposing it has a utility function gives you a bijection from the rationals to the reals, but I mean unique in some ...
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Optimal decision for perfect substitutes utility function ?

Given $u(x_1,x_2)=4x_1+14x_2$ and $m=\frac{1}{2}x_1+\frac{3}{2}x_2$, I shall choose the optimal decision among: $a)(2m,\frac{2m}{3})$ $b)(2m,0)$ $c)(\frac{m}{2},0)$ $d)(0,\frac{2m}{...
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303 views

Finding demand functions for an unusual utility function

I have a utility function: $U = x + \min\{x,y\}$ I want to draw the indifference curve and find the demand functions. Will it be the case of the usual perfect complements? Also, what preferences ...
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Would households rather live in a world with or without the unemployment insurance?

Would households rather live in a world with or without the unemployment insurance? What is a good example of world in which unemployment insurance is seen as a benefit, and not a hindrance?
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Consumer Theory question [closed]

You plan to use the following specification for an empirical study: $$e_i = \alpha_i + \sum_{j=1}^{n} \beta_{ij}p_i + \gamma_iy +\delta_i, i=1,...,n$$ where $e_i$ is the consumer's expenditure on ...
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Log Utiliy Function Trick

I am watching Lecture 3 of Yale's Financial Theory Lecture (by John). At about minute 50 he explains something along this line (with reference to log utility functions). MUx/Px=MUy/Py And ...
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Identifying utility function

I recently came across a utility function with min written at the start. I assumed that it was a case of a leontief utility function, and only after going ahead with the problem I found out that it is ...
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Index Theorem for Regular Infinite-Agent Economies

A formulation of the Index theorem states that for a regular economy: $\sum_{p | z(p) = 0, p_L = 1} index p = +1$ Does this hold for models with uncountably many agents?
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Prove that $h(p,u) = \nabla_p e(p,u)$ is implied by Roy's identity

I am struggling a bit with the math in my first graduate microeconomics course. I'm not sure if this belongs here. If it doesn't, please direct me to a more appropriate place. Below is one question ...
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CPI Bias with consumers using computers extensively

I was studying Microeconomics from Microeconomics by Pindyck and Rubinfeld where it was written that CPI calculated on Laspeyres index has overstated the cost of living for consumers who use computers ...
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2answers
68 views

Indifference Curves and Preferences

Why are averages preferred to extremes on the same indifference curve? Doesn't everything along an indifference curve have the same preference?
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713 views

Difference between Engel curve and income expansion path

I was scrolling through many questions on this site about income offer path and it appeared to me that income offer path, income expansion path, engel curve all are different terms with same meaning, ...

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