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BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: An agency of the U.S. Federal government, specifically a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, that compiles and reports a wide range of economic data and measurements. At the top of their list of important economic numbers maintained by what is abbreviated the BEA, is the National Income and Product Accounts, which includes gross domestic product and the broad assortment of related measures of income and production. Economists rely heavily on the BEA to provide data needed to evaluate and analyze the macroeconomy.

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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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    SUPPLY PRICE

    The minimum price that sellers are willing and able to accept for a given quantity of a good. While sellers might be willing and able to accept more than the supply price for a given quantity, they are not willing and able to accept less. The supply curve is a plot of the supply price for each quantity.

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    PURPLE SMARPHIN
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through the yellow pages seeking to buy either a combination CD player, clock radio, and telephone (with answering machine) or a revolving spice rack. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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    Before 1933, the U.S. dime was legal as payment only in transactions of $10 or less.
    "Now is the only time there is. Make your now wow, your minutes miracles, and your days pay. Your life will have been magnificently lived and invested, and when you die you will have made a difference."

    -- Mark Victor Hansen

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