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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL UTILITY: The principle stating that as more of a good is consumed, eventually each additional unit of the good provides less additional utilitythat is, marginal utility decreases. Each subsequent unit of a good is valued less than the previous one. The law of diminishing marginal utility helps explain the negative slope of the demand curve and the law of demand.
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ARC ELASTICITY: The average elasticity for discrete changes in two variables. The distinguishing characteristic of arc elasticity is that percentage changes are calculated based on the average of initial and ending values of each variable, rather than initial values. Arc elasticity is generally calculated using the midpoint elasticity formula. The contrast to arc elasticity is point elasticity. For infinitesimally small changes in two variables, arc elasticity is the same as point elasticity. Arc elasticity is best considered the average elasticity over a range of values for a relation. Like any average, some values within the range are likely to be greater and some less. However, it provides a quick approximation of elasticity when more precise and sophisticated calculation techniques are not possible.Working Through an ExampleA Standard Demand Curve 

 The demand curve displayed to the right can be used to illustrate the measurement of arc elasticity using the midpoint elasticity formula. If the price declines from $12 to $8, the quantity demanded increases from 4 to 6, from point X to point Z. Using this midpoint formula (with price designated as P and quantity designated as Q) average price elasticity of demand is:midpoint elasticity  =  (Q[Z]  Q[X]) (Q[Z] + Q[X])/2  ÷  (P[Z]  P[X]) (P[Z] + P[X])/2 
midpoint elasticity  =  (6  4) (6 + 4)/2  ÷  (8  12) (8 + 12)/2  =  (2) (5)  ÷  (4) (10) 
midpoint elasticity  =  0.4  ÷  0.4  =  1.0 
Ignoring the minus sign, the price elasticity of demand over this segment of the demand curve from X to Z is 1.0.An Average ValueThis value of 1.0 is actually an average for the entire range between points X and Z. Precise estimates of point elasticity shows that the elasticity is 0.67 at point X and 1.5 at point Z. Moreover, the elasticity is different at each point on a straight line demand curve such as this one. The only point in which the elasticity is exactly equal to 1.0 is at point Y, the midpoint between X and Z.This last observation is worth emphasizing. The midpoint elasticity formula effectively estimates the point elasticity at the very midpoint of the overall segment. This means that the elasticity of any point on a demand curve (point elasticity) can be obtained by calculating the arc elasticity with the midpoint elasticity formula such that the desired point is dead center in the middle, the midpoint of the arc.
Recommended Citation:ARC ELASTICITY, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 20002015. [Accessed: March 6, 2015]. Check Out These Related Terms...       Or For A Little Background...       And For Further Study...      
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State of the ECONOMY
Construction Spending
September 2014
$950.9 billion
Down 0.4% from Aug. 2014 Source: Econ Stats Adm.
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BLACK DISMALAPOD [What's This?]
Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching the newspaper want ads seeking to buy either yellow cotton balls or a set of steelbelted radial snow tires. Be on the lookout for pencil sharpeners with an attitude. Your Complete Scope
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A communal society, a prime component of Karl Marx's communist philosophy, was advocated by the Greek philosophy Plato.


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