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Answer to Question #51608 in Microeconomics for beena

Question #51608
The utility approach to consumer demand theory is based on the assumption of cardinal utility, while the indifference curve approach is based on ordinal utility. Which approach is better? Why?
Expert's answer
The utility approach to consumer demand theory is based on the assumption of cardinal utility, while the indifference curve approach is based on ordinal utility. Both approaches are good enough in different cases, but the ordinal utility approach is better, because it uses ranks, according to which some choices are more preferable than other. Ordinal utility theory states that while the utility of a particular good or service cannot be measured using a numerical scale bearing economic meaning in and of itself, pairs of alternative bundles (combinations) of goods can be ordered such that one is considered by an individual to be worse than, equal to, or better than the other. This contrasts with cardinal utility theory, which generally treats utility as something whose numerical value is meaningful in its own right.

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