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April 25, 2018 

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EUROPEAN SYSTEM OF CENTRAL BANKS: The consolidation of the central banks of the member nations of the European Union, together with the European Central Bank, to oversee monetary policy. A major aspect of the Economic and Monetary Union has been coordinate the actions of distinct, independent nations under a single authority, which could probably not be achieved without the European System of Central Banks. The European System of Central Banks is comparable to the Federal Reserve System of the United States.

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DIAMOND-WATER PARADOX: The perplexing observation that water, which is more useful than diamonds, has a lower price. If price is related to utility, how can this occur? This paradox was first proposed by classical economists in the 19th century and was subsequently used as a stepping stone for developing the notion of marginal utility and the role it plays in the demand price of a good. The paradox is magically cleared up with an understanding of marginal utility and total utility. People are willing to pay a higher price for goods with greater marginal utility. As such, water which is plentiful has enormous total utility, but a low price because of a low marginal utility. Diamonds, however, have less total utility because they are less plentiful, but a high price because of a high marginal utility.

     See also | price | demand price | utility | marginal utility | total utility | consumer surplus | law of diminishing marginal utility | marginal utility-price ratio | marginal utility and demand |


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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL UTILITY

A principle stating that as the quantity of a good consumed increases, eventually each additional unit of the good provides less additional utility--that is, marginal utility decreases. Each subsequent unit of a good is valued less than the previous one. The law of diminishing marginal utility helps to explain the negative slope of the demand curve and the law of demand.

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