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CARDINAL UTILITY: A measure of utility, or satisfaction derived from the consumption of goods and services, that can be measured using an absolute scale. Cardinal utility exists if the utility derived from consumption is measurable in the same way that other physical characteristics--height and weight--are measured using a scale that is comparable between people. There is little or no evidence to suggest that such measurement is possible and is not even needed for modern consumer demand theory and indifference curve analysis. Cardinal utility, however, is often employed as a convenient teaching device for discussing such concepts as marginal utility and utility maximization.

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UNLIMITED WANTS AND NEEDS: A characteristic of people such that they are never totally satisfied with the quantity and variety of goods and services. This is one half of the fundamental problem of scarcity that has plagued humanity since the beginning of time. The other half of the scarcity problem is limited resources. Unlimited wants and needs essentially means that people never get "enough"--that there's always something else that they would want or need.

     See also | scarcity | limited resources | wants | needs | goods | services | opportunity cost | satisfaction | consumption |


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UNLIMITED WANTS AND NEEDS, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: April 21, 2018].


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INEFFICIENT

The state of resource allocation that exists when the highest level of consumer satisfaction is not achieved from available resources. This state occurs in market exchanges if the price buyers are willing and able to pay for a good does not reflect the satisfaction everyone obtains from the consuming the good or if the price sellers need to charge for a good does not reflect all opportunity cost of producing the good.

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