Questions tagged [utility]

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

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114 views

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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475 views

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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140 views

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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113 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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50 views

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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491 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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102 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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114 views

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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109 views

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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133 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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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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Utility function_maximazation [closed]

A consumer is deciding about her hours ($h$) and consumption ($c$), her preference over bundles of work and consumption are as follows: $U(c,h)= c + \sqrt{24-h}$ The consumer would get an hourly wage ...
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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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derive value function from utility function

We have the utility function. $$U_{t} = \ln{c_{t}} + E_{t}\sum_{s=1}^{\infty}(\beta^{s}\ln{c_{t+s}})$$ And I am trying to find the value function. $U$ is utility function. $c_t$ is consumption at ...
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131 views

Strictly increasing function transformation

I have utility function given by: $U(x_1, x_2) = \begin{cases} x_1+x_2 & \text{if $x_1+x_2<6$} \\ 6 & \text{if $6\...
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268 views

utility function always negative

In a problem set, I found a strange utility function: $U(c)=-1/2(c^* - c)^2$, where $c^* =$ positive constant level of consumption. Does this function have economic sense?
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Is this utility function continuous?

$u(x_1,x_2)=|x_1 −2|+x_2$ Is this function continuous? PS: The continuity theorem I use is this: Whenever for any $x^n$, $n \in N$ with $x^n \to x$ (i.e. $\lim_{n \to \infty} x^n = x$) and for any $...
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Study whether $\succsim$ represented by $u(x)=\lfloor x \rfloor$ is continuous [closed]

Using the following definition of continuity: $\succsim$ is continuous if for any bundles $x,y,z$ such that x$\succ$y$\succ$z, there exists $\alpha \in (0,1)$ such that $\alpha x + (1-\alpha)z \sim y$....
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Who took utimatum game and dictator game as the evidence against Homo Economicus assumption of individual utility maximization?

Wikipedia and this McGill University page states that the two games "have been taken as both evidence for and against the Homo economicus assumptions of rational, utility-maximizing, individual ...
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68 views

Framing Effect Risk-Aversion Risk-Pursuit

I am an economics' graduate seeking to study Law and I want to illustrate the importance of legal certainty. Penalties, Costs are negativelly framed. I am trying to word. 200 dollars with 50% ...
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Rent dissipation meaning?

What is Rent dissipation? Please explain with an example. I tried to search it on the internet about it. And I couldn't find anything in simple language. It was the esoteric language and was unclear. ...
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416 views

What would the indifference curve of min{√x,y} looks like?

The locus of kinks would follow x=y^2 but what would the arms look like?
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A case where the solution to Expenditure Minimisation Problem is not a solution to Utility Maximistion Problem

I am looking for a preference relation which satisfies the above property.
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Doesn't the concept of marginal utility speak to a cardinal utility function?

When we differentiate the utility function with respect to some input $x_i$, we get a number that tells us how "fast" the utility function is changing at some point with respect to $x_i$. Doesn't that ...
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608 views

Mean Variance Optimization in a Utility Maximization Framework

I'm struggling to gain a broad understanding of Mean-Variance utility theory as it relates to finding the efficient frontier of a group of assets which each have some return and variance. The typical ...
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45 views

Opportunity Cost effect on benefits

My question is the following: Let's say a person has two career choices. He would be succesful in both, but in one of them he is slightly better and thus he will do better. So let's say career A will ...
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200 views

utility maximization with nested Cobb–Douglas–CES preferences

I'm trying to understand the following paper: Hsieh & Ossa: A global view of productivity growth in China (2016). The pdf can be found here: https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/chang-tai.hsieh/...
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Fixes of quadratic utility when probability of decreasing utility is large

In finance and specifically portfolio theory, a popular utility function is quadratic utility $$ u(x)=x-\frac{\lambda}{2}(x-\mu_x)^2 $$ where $x$ is wealth and $\lambda$ is the parameter of risk ...
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Log-linearizing a non-separable utility function around the steady state

I've started reading Jordi Galí's Monetary Policy, Inflation and the Business Cycle (2nd ed., 2015). In section 2.5.2, Galí considers an example with the following non-separable period utility ...
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144 views

Maximin utility function

If someone has the attitude that they want to maximize their worst possible outcome (so they are maximally risk-averse), what does the utility function for that look like? Can this attitude be ...
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38 views

Are marginal utilities or utilities compared?

Consider decision making in an economic model. Suppose that there is some utility and it is a function of consumption and leisure where leisure is full-time work, part-time work, or full-time ...
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What is the trade-off between? Consumption and Leisure or Income and Leisure?

When first presenting the utility function and its arguments, textbooks typically start by stating that utility is a function of consumption and leisure. See for example https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/...
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176 views

Change in the marginal utility of leisure with respect to a change in consumption

I am reading a paper that derives a theoretical retirement model. There is a utility function and a budget constraint forming an optimal control problem. The solution to this problem states that \...
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480 views

Showing that a preference relation admits a utility function representation

Setting: We have two choices of goods $(x_1,y_1)$ and $(x_2,y_2)$ from the set of choices $[-1,1]^2$. Moreover, we have the following preference relation $$(x_1,y_1)\mathcal{R}(x_2,y_2)\iff |x_1|\geq|...
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220 views

Proof: Risk averse; Certainty Equivalent smaller than expected value

I would like to show for a randomly distributed variable $x$ with CDF $F(\cdot)$ , given a Bernoulli utility function $u(x)$ the following property holds: The certainty equivalent, $CE(\cdot)$, is ...
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641 views

The mathematical proof of a monotonic utility transformation does not restrict the use of strictly decreasing monotonic functions. Why bar them?

I understand from an intuitive sense that decreasing monotonic transformations will skew the choices and ordinality. But mathematically the $F'(U(x,y))$ just cancels out each other out in numerator ...
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Rotation of Quasilinear Utility

Let $u(x,y)=f(x)+y$ be a quasilinear utility. Now we rotate it by 45 degrees, (such that the $x-$axis becomes the direction of $(1,1)$) $v(x,y)=f(x-y)+x+y$. Is $v$ also a quasilinear utility? What is ...
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Linear Homothetic Utility

A Homothetic Utility is where $$ \forall x,y, \forall a \in \mathbb{R}_+: \ u(ax,ay)=au(x,y) $$ (or its monotonic transformation). A linear Homothetic utility is defined as $$ \forall x,y, \forall a \...
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If an ordinal-scaled utility function is defined via strictly increasing transformation, how can it represent a case of indifference?

Problem: According to Wulf Gaertner’s (2009, p. 13) A Primer in Social Choice Theory, any strictly increasing transformation of an individual’s ordinal utility function is informationally equivalent. ...
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173 views

Demand correspondence is both upper and lower hemi-continuous; is the preference continuous?

$\succsim$ is a weak order over $\mathbb R^L$. For a closed budget set $B\subset\mathbb R^L$, define demand correspondence: $$D(B)=\{x\in B|x\succsim y\forall y\in B\}$$. We know that $D$ is always ...
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Meaning of $dF(z)$ in expected utility framework

Background: from a Microeconomics course, $F$ is a cdf. In other words, if $F$ has a density function $f$, then $$F(z)={\int_{-\infty}^z f(x) dx} $$ Write the Bernoulli utility function $u:...
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Gapminder's Dollar Street and the role of self-supply

I find it quite hard to get a clear picture of what the income numbers in Gapminder's Dollar Street tell. How to compare \$27 in Burundi with \$10,098 in China? What would it mean that the family in ...
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Obligations of a company

Any company may "feel" obligated towards several parties at once: its shareholders its employees its customers its partner companies (sub-contractors and suppliers) its country and social environment ...
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250 views

robinson economy with production

Facing a little bit of a problem with this questions, did a similar one BUT the utility function was not linear and got MRS dependent on goods (was not just a number) - here I am at a loss. The ...
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38 views

How does the notion of utility differ from that of value?

Is utility merely the notion of value in the subjectivist/marginalist (aka neoclassical) school?
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48 views

Aggregated demand of households given utility function

I have an utility function given, $\ u_j(q_{j1},q_{j2} )=q^{3/4}_{1j}*q^{1/4}_{2j} $ $\ s.t.: y=p_1*q_{1i} +p_2*q_{2i}$ I do know that the for $\ q_{1j}$ the marginal prospensity to consume is 3/...
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422 views

WARP implies completeness, transitivity and thus rationalizability. What is wrong with the statement?

Let $A$ be a menu and $R$ be a complete and transitive binary relation. Define choice correspondence generated by $R$: $$c_R(A)=\{x\in A|| xRy \ \forall y\in A\}.$$ Theorem (from Kreps 1988): for ...
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Is anyone familiar with the following basic resource sharing model?

Here is a resource sharing model, I do not remember where I came across it, I am wondering if this is well known in econometrics. Let $T > 0$ be the total quantity of resources. For example, ad ...

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