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TRADITIONAL BANK: The original type of commercial bank that handled customer deposits and made investment loans to businesses. Traditional banks, chartered at the national, state, or local levels, were the only entities legally able to issue checking accounts prior to the 1980s. While still dominant in the banking industry, traditional banks are joined by savings and loan associations, credit unions, and mutual savings banks.

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PROFIT MAXIMIZATION: The process of obtaining the highest possible level of profit through the production and sale of goods and services. The profit-maximization assumption is the guiding principle underlying short-run production by a firm. In particular, it is assumed that firms undertake actions and make the decisions that increase profit. The profit-maximization assumption is the production counterpart to the utility-maximization assumption for consumer behavior.

     See also | profit | total revenue | total cost | firm | production | short-run production | utility maximization | perfect competition | monopoly | monopolistic competition | oligopoly |


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MARGINAL UTILITY

The additional utility obtained from the consumption or use of an additional unit of a good. It is specified as the change in total utility divided by the change in quantity. Marginal utility indicates what each additional unit of a good is worth to a consumer and provides a theoretical basis for understanding market demand and the law of demand. Marginal utility generally declines with increased consumption of a good, a reflection of the law of diminishing marginal utility.

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