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ERIC Number: EJ725267
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep-22
Pages: 9
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0485
Diminishing Marginal Utility in Economics Textbooks
Dittmer, Timothy
Journal of Economic Education, v36 n4 p391 Fall 2005
Many introductory microeconomics textbook authors derive the law of demand from the assumption of diminishing marginal utility. Authors of intermediate and graduate textbooks derive demand from diminishing marginal rate of substitution and ordinal preferences. These approaches are not interchangeable; diminishing marginal utility for all goods is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for diminishing marginal rate of substitution, and the assumption of diminishing marginal utility is inconsistent with the assumption of ordinal preferences. In this article, the author argues that demand curves should not be derived from diminishing marginal utility in introductory textbooks and suggests that introductory text authors begin their treatment of demand with diminishing marginal value.
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A