Marginal Utility Calculator


About Marginal Utility Calculator (Formula)

Marginal utility is a fundamental concept in economics that describes the additional satisfaction or benefit a consumer gains from consuming one more unit of a good or service. In other words, it measures how much the total utility (satisfaction or happiness) changes as the quantity of a product consumed changes by one unit. The concept of marginal utility plays a crucial role in understanding consumer behavior, demand curves, and the allocation of resources.

The formula for calculating marginal utility is quite straightforward, but its implications are significant:

Marginal Utility (MU) = Change in Total Utility / Change in Quantity


  • MU: Marginal Utility
  • Change in Total Utility: The difference in total satisfaction or happiness gained from consuming the new quantity and the previous quantity of the good.
  • Change in Quantity: The change in the quantity of the good consumed.

The concept of diminishing marginal utility is closely related to this formula. It suggests that as a person consumes more units of a good, the additional satisfaction derived from each successive unit tends to decrease. This makes intuitive sense—imagine you’re eating slices of pizza. The first few slices are incredibly satisfying, but as you continue eating, your appetite may decrease, and the enjoyment you get from each subsequent slice diminishes.

To use the marginal utility formula in a simple example, let’s consider a person eating chocolate bars:

Let’s say a person gains the following total utility from consuming a certain quantity of chocolate bars:

  • 1 chocolate bar: 20 units of utility
  • 2 chocolate bars: 35 units of utility
  • 3 chocolate bars: 45 units of utility

Now, we want to calculate the marginal utility of consuming the second chocolate bar. We use the formula:

MU = (Change in Total Utility) / (Change in Quantity) = (35 – 20) / (2 – 1) = 15 / 1 = 15 units of utility

In this example, the marginal utility of consuming the second chocolate bar is 15 units. This means that the person gains an additional 15 units of utility from consuming the second chocolate bar compared to consuming only one.

Understanding marginal utility is essential for explaining consumer choice and behavior. Consumers tend to allocate their resources (money) in a way that maximizes their total utility. This is the foundation for concepts like the law of demand and the shape of the demand curve in economics.

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