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July 19, 2018 

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UTIL: An hypothetical, as in totally fabricated, unit of measurement for utility that's used by economists to present hypothetical information about utility and consumer demand theory. Economists are fond of making up hypothetical stuff, especially if it drives home an important economic notion. In this case, the term "util" (also frequently used in plural as "utils") is a convenient way to discuss utility and the satisfaction of wants and needs that consumers obtain from consuming or using a good.

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VOLUNTARY EXCHANGE: The process of willingly trading one item for another. The emphasis here is on "willingly." Voluntary exchanges are the heart and soul of market transactions, and should be contrasted with the "involuntary" exchanges mandated by government taxes, laws, and regulations. While involuntary government-forced exchanges play an important role in a mixed economy, economists really, really like voluntary market exchanges because they promote economic efficiency.

     See also | exchange | market | price | involuntary exchange | government | taxes | regulation | government functions | mixed economy |


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AVERAGE PROPENSITY TO CONSUME

The proportion of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. The average propensity to consume (abbreviated APC) is really nothing more than average consumption. Together with the average propensity to save, it indicates how a given level of income is divided between consumption and saving. A related consumption measure is the marginal propensity to consume.

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