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RECESSION: The common term used for the contraction phase of the business cycle. A general period of declining economic activity. During a recession, real gross domestic product declines by 10 percent or so and the unemployment rate rises from it's full employment 5 percent level up to the 6 to 10 percent range. Inflation tends to be low or non-existent during a recession. Recession last anywhere from six to eighteen months, with one year being common.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Demand Theory
  • The Theory
  • Making Decisions
  • Utility
  • On To Demand
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Total Utility
  • A Measure Of Satisfaction
  • Total Utility Schedule
  • Utility Maximization
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Marginal Utility
  • Incremental Satisfaction
  • Measuring Marginal Utility
  • Diminishing Marginal Utility
  • Getting Satisfied
  • Diamond-Water Paradox
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: The Curves
  • Total Utility
  • Marginal Utility
  • Both Curves
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Taking Stock
  • Two Laws
  • Two Considerations
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Consumer Demand

    This lesson discusses the basics of consumer demand theory, especially the notion of utility. Utility is the fancy-schmancy economic term that means satisfying wants and needs. The purpose of this lesson is to set the stage for a behind-the-scenes look at the demand-side of the market. Because the prices buyers are willing to pay for the goods depend on the utility, an understanding of demand requires an understanding of utility.

    • The first unit of this lesson, Demand Theory, introduces the concept of utility and previews the relation between utility, consumer decision making, and demand.
    • In the second unit, Total Utility, we take a look at the first of two key technical notions of utility are used to examine the relation between utility and demand.
    • The third unit, Marginal Utility, presents and discusses the second of the two technical notions of utility, and the most important notion underlying demand.
    • The fourth unit, The Curves, illustrates the total utility and marginal utility concepts with handy graphs.
    • The fifth unit, Taking Stock, then wraps up this lesson with an extended preview of the relation between utility and demand.

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    MARKET DEMAND

    The combined demand of everyone willing and able to buy a good in a market. Market demand is one half of the market. The other is market supply. It is graphically represented by a negatively-sloped market demand curve, which can be derived by combining, or adding, the individual demands of every buyer in the market.

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    BLACK DISMALAPOD
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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time surfing the Internet hoping to buy either a wall poster commemorating the first day of spring or a lazy Susan for you dining room table. Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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    Two and a half gallons of oil are needed to produce one automobile tire.
    "Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

    -- Grenville Kleiser, Author

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    Present Discounted Value
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