Indifference curves, Managerial Economics

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Indifference curves

In order to explain indifference curves, we will again make the simplifying assumption that the consumer buys two goods, x and y.

The table below gives a number of combinations of x and y which the consumer considers to give the same satisfaction as for example, combination c of bx and 4y is thought to give the same satisfaction as D where 7x and 2y are consumed.  The consumer is thus said to be indifferent as to which combination they have hence the name given to this type of analysis.

Table :  An indifference schedule

Combination

Units of x

Units of y

       A

       B

       C

       D

       1

       4

       6

       7

      12

       7

       4

       2

Figure 2.3 gives a graphical representation of the figures in Table

 

751_indifference curve.png

Such a graph is called an indifference curve:

An indifference curve shows the lines of combinations of the amounts of two goods say x and y such that the individual is indifferent between all combinations on that curve.

At each point on the indifference curve the consumer believes that the same amount of utility is received.


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