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. Features of Utility: Subjective Concept, Relative Concept, Multipurpose concept, Time Utility find the odd word​

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(1) Utility is a subjective concept: It is a psychological concept. It is the mental assessment of a commodity. So utility differs from person to person because of difference in taste, preference, likes and dislikes of a person. E.g., chalks have more utility to a teacher than a student.

(2) Utility is a relative term: It is related to time and place. With change in time and place, utility of the same commodity changes. Cold drinks have more utility during summer than winter. Woolen clothes have more utility in Kashmir than Mumbai.

(3) Utility depends on the intensity of want: More urgent or intense the want, more will be the utility. E.g. Books have more utility to students just before the exams.

(4) Utility differs from usefulness: Utility indicates the power of a good to satisfy human wants irrespective of whether it is good or bad or harmful. While usefulness means that the commodity is beneficial or desirable. A commodity may have utility but may not be useful. E.g., cigarette is injurious to health, it is not useful but it has utility to a smoker.

(5) Utility cannot be measured: Utility is psychological and subjective. It is intangible. So it cannot be measured cardinally or numerically. It can only be expressed ordinally. Eg., first slice of bread will have very high utility for a very hungry person than the 2nd slice. But Marshall assumes that utility can be cardinally measured.

(6) Utility differs from satisfaction: Utility and satisfaction are related but there is a difference. Utility is expected satisfaction and is measured before the used of commodity while satisfaction is actual realisation which comes after consumption.

(7) Utility is not the same as pleasure: A good which has utility may not necessarily provide any pleasure to the consumer. E.g., no one enjoys taking bitter medicine or an injection.

(8) Ethically neutral of utility has no moral significance: Utility is a morally colourless concept. A commodity which possesses utility may satisfy good or bad, moral or immoral wants. E.g., Knife has utility for both a killer, to stab and a housewife for cutting vegetables.

(9) Utility is the basis of demand: Consumer will demand a commodity only if it has utility. So utility is the basis of demand. Rotten eggs has no utility, so it will not be demanded.

(10) Utility can be multipurpose: Utility changes according to the use to which it is put. E.g., electricity can be used for lighting, ironing, cooking and washing and utility in each case is different.

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