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HUMAN CAPITAL: The sum total of a person's productive knowledge, experience, and training. The acquisition of human capital is what makes a person more productive. One of the most notable methods of stocking up on human capital is through formal education--from grade school to advanced college degrees. However, human capital is also effectively obtained through less formal training and highly informal on-the-job experiences.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Demand Theory
  • The Theory
  • Making Decisions
  • Utility
  • On To Demand
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Total Utility
  • A Measure Of Satisfaction
  • Total Utility Schedule
  • Utility Maximization
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Marginal Utility
  • Incremental Satisfaction
  • Measuring Marginal Utility
  • Diminishing Marginal Utility
  • Getting Satisfied
  • Diamond-Water Paradox
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: The Curves
  • Total Utility
  • Marginal Utility
  • Both Curves
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Taking Stock
  • Two Laws
  • Two Considerations
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Consumer Demand

    This lesson discusses the basics of consumer demand theory, especially the notion of utility. Utility is the fancy-schmancy economic term that means satisfying wants and needs. The purpose of this lesson is to set the stage for a behind-the-scenes look at the demand-side of the market. Because the prices buyers are willing to pay for the goods depend on the utility, an understanding of demand requires an understanding of utility.

    • The first unit of this lesson, Demand Theory, introduces the concept of utility and previews the relation between utility, consumer decision making, and demand.
    • In the second unit, Total Utility, we take a look at the first of two key technical notions of utility are used to examine the relation between utility and demand.
    • The third unit, Marginal Utility, presents and discusses the second of the two technical notions of utility, and the most important notion underlying demand.
    • The fourth unit, The Curves, illustrates the total utility and marginal utility concepts with handy graphs.
    • The fifth unit, Taking Stock, then wraps up this lesson with an extended preview of the relation between utility and demand.

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    AGGREGATE DEMAND SHIFTS

    Changes in the aggregate demand determinants cause the aggregate demand curve to shift. The mechanism is comparable to that for market demand determinants and market demand. There are two alternatives--an increase in aggregate demand and a decrease in aggregate demand. An increase in spending by any of the four sectors--household, business, government, and foreign--shifts the aggregate demand curve to right. A decrease in spending by these four sectors shifts the aggregate demand curve to left.

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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites hoping to buy either a how-to book on the art of negotiation or a flower arrangement for your aunt. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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    Paper money used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prior to the U.S. Revolutionary War, which was issued against the dictates of Britain, was designed by patriot and silversmith, Paul Revere.
    "Only great minds can afford a simple style."

    -- Stendhal, writer

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