Questions tagged [utility]

Utility, or usefulness, is the (perceived) ability of something to satisfy needs or wants.

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Deriving a demand curve from a Cobb-Douglas utility

Probably a daft question but I derived an equation for a demand curve from a general Cobb-Douglas utility function $$U(x,y)=\beta x^{\alpha}y^{1-\alpha}$$ given a budget constraint $$M=xP_x+yP_y$$ and ...
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'Constrained optimisation' for mutually exclusive goods?

Taking the standard approach to constrained optimisation, where we maximise utility subject to a budget constraint with some allocation on the consumption of two goods, does it make apply the same ...
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Specification of the parameters of this utility function [Behavioral Economics]

This is from page 274 of "Advances in Behavioural Economics" by Camerer, Rabin, Loewenstein. This chapter of the book is entitled "A theory about fairness, competition and cooperation". I have ...
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Utility function $u(x_1,x_2)=\sqrt[4]{x_1}+x_2$ [closed]

im new on this community and even on economy topics, so please help me if you can't, my microeconomics teacher really sucks and gave us a homework which i'm barely making thought it, but in this ...
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2answers
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Marginal rate of substitution notation:

I am having a dumb doubt in writing some slides for an undergraduate class. I want to be consistent with the use in microeconomics but this easy thing is really bugging me: Mas-colell pag. 54 $ ...
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What are examples for the phenomenon that more (or better) information makes everybody worse off?

More information is usually considered "better". Let's say a rational agent chooses optimally given his information on the circumstances of a particular decision problem. Then providing him with more ...
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Deriving FOC in OLG model with Cobb Douglas utility

I'm trying to derive the first order condition in a partial equilibrium overlapping generations model. The setup contains both consumption and housing goods. $$ \underset{c_{t+i},h_{t+i}}{max}U_{t}^{...
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1answer
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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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3answers
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locally nonsatiated preferences

what does this symbol mean in the discuss of locally nonsatiated preferences: $\varepsilon > 0$ and $||y-x||<\varepsilon$.
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1answer
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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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2answers
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Derivation of a Demand Equation

A consumer's utility function is $U(x,y)=\sqrt x + y$. Assuming we have an interior solution, I need to show that the demand for $x$ does not depend on income. I know that the consumer consumes where ...
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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Diminishing mariginal utility and risk preferences

Diminishing marginal utility is a concept only in cardinal utility theory rather than ordinal utility theory. As diminishing marginal utility implies a concave shape of the utility function, does it ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Utility theory and portfolio optimization: utility of what exactly?

In finance, a common problem is selection of an optimal portfolio given some constraints (e.g. budget constraint and perhaps nonnegative allocation constraint). One can define the optimization problem ...
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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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1answer
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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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For the case of two goods, give an example of preferences that are represnted by a continuous utility function that allows for fat indifference curves

The question in the title sounds like a trick question, due to the monotonicity property that indifference curves have, such that for two goods x and y, strong monotonicity implies y > x. Possible ...
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0answers
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How to prove monotonic transformation of the function and equivalence?

At the microeconomics course I have to prove monotonic transformation of the function U(x,y) = A(x^a)(y^b) into U(x,y) = (x^0.5)(y^0.5) Since the MRS are ay/bx and x/y resp. I can obviously only ...
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Determine if goods are substitutes or Complements based on demand function

So I have a consumer with a utility function of the Cobb-Douglas form $v(x_1,x_2)=x^{\frac{1}{2}}_1x^{\frac{1}{2}}_2$. From that I constructed the demand function for good 1 and good 2: $x_1=\frac{1}{...
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utility from providing public good as explained in Hindriks textbook

I think I understood the highlighted part: basically, by increasing $g^1$ my utility increases because more public good is being provided but at the same time it decreases because I have less money to ...
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1answer
179 views

Why is the risk premium always positive for risk averse individuals?

I think this has to do with the definition of concavity and the fact that a risk averse person has a concave utility function, but I'm not sure how that helps.
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Intertemporal choice with possibility of death

Here is the setup: Suppose that there is an individual who lives up to two periods. He lives with absolute certainty during period $1$, and during this period his sub-utility function is given by: $$...
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1answer
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How to calculate CRRA bounds from Holt and Laury (2002) type lottery?

Lottery is between: Option A: a certain choice of £5 Option B: £10 with probability 0.1 and £1 with probability 0.9 The probability of receiving £10 increases in each subsequent choice. How do I ...
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2answers
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How can I prove $U(x) = [𝛼_1𝑥_1^𝜌+𝛼_2𝑥_2^𝜌]^{(1/𝜌)}$ is equal to Cobb-douglas Utility function when $𝜌\rightarrow0$ [closed]

This is the question, I have problem with part b, I don't know what function should I use to reach the result thanks in forward
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Does utility in economics also refer to producer's surplus ? How to balance the consumer surplus and producer surplus?

I am confused about the use of utility in economics and how it relates to allocative efficiency. At 4:35 and 5:07 in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a3wXj1o91k) he talks about how at the ...
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1answer
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Prove this indirect utility function is quasi-convex

The indirect utility function is as follows: $$ v(m,p) = \frac{m}{p_{1}^{1/2} p_{2}^{1/4} p_{3}^{1/4}} $$ I need to prove that it is quasi-convex. I tried both definition of a quasiconvex function ...
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1answer
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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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Why are interpersonal utility comparisons not possible

Why is it not possible to compare utility across individuals? Is this only impossible when we consider ordinal utility where we have no numerical unit?
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Linear Utility?

Consider a preference relation $\succeq$ on $X\subseteq\mathbb R^2$. If $\succeq$ satisifies: $$ \begin{align} &1.\mbox{ }(a_1,a_2)\succeq (b_1,b_2)\implies(a_1+t,a_2+s)\succeq (b_1+t,b_2+s),\...
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Prove quasi-concavity of utility function [closed]

How do you prove from definition (no Hessians) that $U(x_1,x_2)=x_1^2 x_2$ is quasi-concave?
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How can I prove $∇U(x).D_m x(p,m)= \text{shadow price}$?

Why inner multiplication of the gradient of utility function in derivative of demand function with respect to income is equal to shadow price? This is the equation which is given but I don't know ...
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1answer
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Does quasi-concave utility function imply convex indifference curve?

It is well-known that convex indifference curve (i.e. the function is convex)/ preference would imply quasi-concave utility function. But does quasi-concave utility function imply convex indifference ...
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How to prove the relationship between the expected value of a lottery and its certainty equivalent?

Utility function $u(x)$ is monotonic. I want to prove that $u(x)$ exhibits risk aversion if and only if for all lottery $F$: $E(x) \geq CE(F,u)$ (CE is certainty equivalent). (Definition of $CE$: the ...
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Are there any examples for $u(x_1, x_2) = \max\{x_1, x_2\}$ in real word?

I know how its graph looks like, and it's like when you want to choose between 2 inferior goods you choose the cheaper one so you can have more, but is there another examples?
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1answer
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A question about the property of quasi-linear preference

In case of quasi-linear preference, why would one unit more of the numeraire good (good 1) give the same additional utility as spending an additional amount of wealth equal to the cost of one unit of ...
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2answers
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Why is the nature of graph of utility function different from indifference curve?

I am new to Economics, but I have this doubt. The indifference curve and utility function both have the same equation, so their graph must also be similar, which is true I guess. Then why is it that ...
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1answer
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A question about MWG Exercise 3.D.4

I'm doing exercises of Chapter3 of MWG, there's a problem that I don't understand (I didn't figure out the solution manual either...). It is about exercise 3.D.4, the full statement of the exercise ...
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Does quasilinear preference contain rationality, monotonicity or other assumptions?

I have a question when I'm doing exercise 3.C.5(b) of MWG. The exercise asks to prove that a continuous preference on $(-\infty,\infty)\times R^{L-1}_+$ is quasilinear with respect to the first ...
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Weakly monotone preferences with singleton indifference curves: do any of them admit a utility representation?

Inspired by this question. The original question was answered by Amit with some nice examples. I would like to know the generalized answer: Suppose we have a preference ordering $\succeq$, which is ...
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1answer
38 views

How to find change in the optimal choice with a utility function in general form?

Suppose the utility function is represented as $U(x_1,x_2;I)$, where $I$ is the level of information the consumer possesses. How to find the change in the optimal choice of $x_1$ as price of $x_1$ ...
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1answer
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Why might a monotone increasing but nonlinear transformation of a utility function not represent the same preferences?

According to a textbook, a monotone increasing but nonlinear transformation of a utility function might not represent the same preferences. Why is it so? An example of such preference would be ...
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2answers
271 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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1answer
55 views

Why is a monotone increasing but nonlinear transformation of a utility function not represent the same preferences if the preference is complete?

According to a textbook, in the context of uncertainty (e.g. in lottery), if the preference is complete, a monotone increasing but nonlinear transformation of a utility function would not represent ...
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How to prove that the walrasian demand function $x(p,w)$ is continuous in $p$ and $w$?

If the utility function $u$ is continuous and satisfies local nonsatiation, and walrasian demand function $x(p, w)$ is a function (i.e. always map to only single values), how to prove that $x(p,w)$ is ...
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1answer
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Why does strictly Walrasian demand with quasi-concave utility function mean that the walrasian demand having only one single consumption bundle?

In the context of Walrasian demand: Suppose u is continuous, satisfies local nonsatiation, and is strictly quasi-concave, each $w(p, x)$ contains a single consumption bundle. The proof I got from a ...
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1answer
37 views

Deriving demand function in case of multivariable utility functions with min and max structures

Suppose I have utility function like this: $u(x_1,x_2,x_3)=min\{x_1,a-x_1\}\times min\{x_2,b-x_2\}+x_3$ where a and b are real numbers and $x_1\in [0, a]$ and $x_2\in [0,b]$. What will be a procedure ...
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2answers
113 views

Algebraic approach towards convexity

I have a function: $ u(x) = x_{1} + x_{2} + \min\{x_{1}, x_{2}\}$. How do we algebraically show if it's convex or not? Also, what would be the general way to show if any given function is convex.
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Why does quadratic utility function imply $\mu-\sigma$ preference?

Why does investors having quadratic utility function mean that their optimal portfolios can be chosen by only considering mean and variance of returns i.e. imply $\mu-\sigma$ preference?

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