What is Utility: Definition and 57 Discussions

Within economics, the concept of utility is used to model worth or value. Its usage has evolved significantly over time. The term was introduced initially as a measure of pleasure or happiness within the theory of utilitarianism by moral philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The term has been adapted and reapplied within neoclassical economics, which dominates modern economic theory, as a utility function that represents a single consumer's preference ordering over a choice set but is not comparable across consumers. This concept of utility is personal and is based on choice rather than on the pleasure received, and so is more rigorously specified than the original concept but makes it less useful (and controversial) for ethical decisions.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. B

    My landlord wants my social security # to look at utility bills

    I live in Buffalo N.Y. and our building is owned by Peoples Inc. They just purchased our apartment buildings from Olmsted Inc. last year. We were just given letters asking for our utility account numbers and our social security numbers so they can look at our accounts when ever needed for usage...
  2. J

    A typical monthly utility rate / Current and resistance

    Homework Statement A typical monthly utility rate structure might go something like this: $1.60 for the first 16 kWh, 7.05 cents/kWh for the next 34 kWh used, 5.02 cents/kWh for the next 50 kWh, 3.25 cents/kWh for the next 100 kWh, 2.95 cents/kWh for the next 200 kWh, 2.35 cents/kWh for all in...
  3. Cantor080

    I Was there any need or utility or aim, for Cantor's theory?

    Was there any need or utility or aim, for which Cantor created his theory? Did Cantor's theory clear any of the problems which existed before? (Though my user name is Cantor, I don't know lot about him or his theory :biggrin:) Reddit...
  4. Cantor080

    Other Utility of a general math book introducing subjects not in historical order?

    I have Abstract Algebra Course, and my teacher is using the book, "Abstract Algebra" of David S. Dummit, and Richard M.Foote. This book, and other books which my teachers are using for the courses, seem to give definitions, theorems, and problems, in no historical order or are not mentioning the...
  5. R

    What if speed=time/distance? Torpidity

    I really liked this thread I just found on this forum. I would like to continue it as I just read Feynman Checkerboard as a Model of Discrete Space-Time. This addresses space time on a checker board with single time units on one axis and a single space dimension on the other. There are only...
  6. M

    MHB Maximizing profit and utility functions

    Dear friends, I am new to this forum and I need urgent help in solving these two questions as I am due to submit them tomorrow early morning. Please help me in solving these two questions. Waiting for urgent response. 1: A farm’s profit is given by π = 100x + 80y + 2xy− x(square) − 2y(square) −...
  7. Wrichik Basu

    B What is the utility of grounding in this Transistor case?

    I am attending an online lecture course on semiconductor physics. While explaining the common emitter mode of transistors, the professor sketched this diagram on the board: (I added something more to explain better) I understand that the emitter has to be at the same potential, and that is...
  8. P

    How will cheap energy affect the economy?

    I've been following a lot of news and articles about various technologies potentially providing abundant energy at dirt cheap prices. I don't want to advocate about any single technology that will provide cheap and abundant energy; however, it is becoming more and more clear that renewables will...
  9. Wrichik Basu

    B What is the real life utility of the dot product and cross product

    Today, my teacher asked us what is the real life utility of the dot product and cross product of vectors. Many of us said that one gives a scalar product, and one gives a vector product. But he said that, that was not the real life utility of the dot and cross product. He asked us, "Students...
  10. K

    Why won't power utility company charge for kVA instead of kW

    Hello all, As I understand (and realize when looking at my electricity bill) it seems all power utility company (in residential market) only charge for kW not kVA. But somehow I find it a bit weird when I think about it more deeply. Wouldn't it make more sense to charge for kVA ? Otherwise, it...
  11. FallenApple

    Do things enjoyed earlier have more utility?

    Say there is a special type of cake, very delicious, one of a kind, and is to be given to you now or ten years from now. If you have it now, you can't have it later. If you have it later, you can't have it now. Would you have it now or 10 years from now? I argue that enjoying the cake now would...
  12. R

    Poor Utility Power Quality?

    Lil background that may support the best answer to my question. I'm a plant manager for a small landfill gas power generation facility 3.6MW, 2ea RICE CAT 3520'S, which are paralleled to the grid. I believe my site is experiencing utility power quality issues that are effecting genset...
  13. zoobyshoe

    Russian Code Found In US Utility Computer

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-hackers-penetrated-us-electricity-grid-through-a-utility-in-vermont/2016/12/30/8fc90cc4-ceec-11e6-b8a2-8c2a61b0436f_story.html?utm_term=.3d3f0ce2546f Source: Signs of Russian Hack Found in Vermont Utility System | NBC Chicago...
  14. S

    A Utility of path integral formulation of quantum mechanics

    How does the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics as given by ##\langle q_{f}|e^{-iHt/\hbar}|q_{i}\rangle = \int \mathcal{D}q(t)\ e^{iS[q]/\hbar}## make manifest aspects of quantum mechanics such as symmetries?
  15. Averagesupernova

    Losing neutral in the utility system

    The consequences of this have been discussed many times here on PF. Here is an example of what can happen. http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=178779 If you live in a rural community with your own water system or your water supply comes in on plastic this sort of thing seems...
  16. K

    MHB Maximize utility function

    A consumer spends a positive amount (m) in order to buy (x) units of one good at the price of 6 per unit, and (y) units of a different good at the price of 10 per unit. The consumer chooses (x) and (y) to maximize the utility function U(x, y) = (x + y)(y + 2). I need to find the optimal...
  17. Felice

    Utility function von Neumann Morgenstern

    Homework Statement I have a financial intermediation model with delegated monitoring to a venture capitalist. At the moment all participants are risk neutral and i want to introduce risk aversion to the model. Therefore i need a utility function under the von neumann morgenstern criteria, ie...
  18. Averagesupernova

    Thoughts on Utility smart meters

    I had no idea how much B.S. was floating around out there about these meters. Do any regular posters on here actually know someone who buys into this? The claims run wild: Smart meters are spying on me! Smart meters are polluting my electricity! The radiation they spew is slowly killing me...
  19. vabm

    Enunciation/notation in utility maximisation model

    Hi Everyone. I am working on a model that I think can be defined as a utility optimisation problem but I'm struggling with the enunciation and notation. The model should describe how the utilities of a set of agents A={1,2,...,n} increase with the availability of a larger set of product types...
  20. M

    MHB Utility Functions and their Forms

    Hi all, I have a non-economic background and I am currently interested in utility functions and how they are modeled in economics. Some internet research and I found out that there are obviously different ways of model utility. In my own studies of related topics I encountered the following two...
  21. R

    Utility Metering Current Transformer

    The electric utility has a digital wattmeter that seems to be measuring the power usage at the high voltage side of our distribution transformer (11 kV - 420 V 3 phase, 250 kVA) via a Current Transformer. How exactly does this work? Specifically, what I'm confused about is that transformers...
  22. Garth

    Utility of observational Hubble parameter data on DE

    Another paper in Friday's physics arXiv on using the H(z) v z plot to investigate any possible evolution of DE: Utility of observational Hubble parameter data on dark energy evolution. From that eprint: As discussed in the Marginal evidence for cosmic acceleration from Type Ia SNe, this paper...
  23. anorlunda

    Batteries for utility storage

    Recent threads started discussing the Tesla batteries. It forked into consumer and utility applications. https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A//www.mitsubishielectric.co.jp/news/2015/pdf/0622-b.pdf is news of a 50 MW. 300 MWh battery to be installed with a solar...
  24. E

    What is the primary conductor size for a 3-phase 1000kVA transformer?

    Hello, this is my first post and I've been out of school for a few years and now working a job in my field at a distribution utility, but I'm just really rusty or green on a lot of things now that I'm being challenged. Seems like the simplest questions elude me! Anywho, I've been tasked with...
  25. Dakarai

    Derivative of a Utility Function

    Homework Statement What is the MRS of the quasilinear utility function U(q1, q2) = u(q1) + q2 ? Homework Equations MRS = - dU1/dU2 The Attempt at a Solution [/B]dU2 is 1 but I am unsure how to approach taking the derivative of u(q1). I have tried the answer as -dU and -dU * dq1...
  26. T

    Electrical Utility Neutral Return Wire

    I have questions based on my understanding on the home electrical system (USA). I am not a student, this is for my personal understanding. My understanding (please bear with me): Electrical power to the house Mains Panel comes from the secondary of the utility company transformer in the form...
  27. icecubebeast

    How to get bulk downloads of utility patents from companies

    The USPTO allows the public to access all their patents. But I want to get bulk downloads of utility patents from high tech companies, especially IBM and Samsung. Is there a way to download bulk downloads that are easy to access? I already went to...
  28. C

    Mathematical Game Theory (Von Neumann Morganstern Utility)

    1: If u: omega---> reals is a Von Neumann Morganstern Utiliy function and L is a lottery, prove that expectation E is "linear" ie: E(Au(L)+B)=AEu(L)+B2. Given none:The Attempt at a Solution : My attempt at a solution has gone nowhere. I found a stanford and princeton game theory notes that went...
  29. A.T.

    LED flicker from utility frequency

    Why do some LED bulbs show clear utility frequency flicker, while others don't? Is it there, but not visible for the weaker lamps because of less amplitude? Is the diffuse bulb coating fluorescent and smooths the flicker away? Here a comparison of some IKEA LEDARE models, slowed down by factor...
  30. B

    MHB Lagrangian utility maximization with a ''complex'' summation

    Hello there! It's my first time posting here, I hope you guys will be good to me :). I took a one year break to study a language abroad, and now it seems like I forgot everything math-wise. I'm preparing for a test and I'm having a really hard time doing the following problem. I need to...
  31. A

    Anyone here work in the Electric Utility field?

    I am a recent graduate (EE) and have a new job for a utility company. I have some questions regarding various devices, and would find it especially helpful if there was some type of website/forum dedicated to the electric utility world. It would seem, that with so many different companies in...
  32. T

    Computing an optimum portfolio for a CARA utility function

    Homework Statement ##u(x)=1-e^{-ax}##. Random variable ##Y\in\mathbb{R}^d## is a multivariate normal distribution with mean vector ##m## and invertible covariance matrix ##\Sigma##. Task: Find ##\xi^*\in\mathbb{R}^d## that maximises ##\mathbb{E}u(\xi\cdot Y)## over ##\xi##. Homework...
  33. S

    Microeconomics: Maximizing total utility

    Homework Statement When the income is greater than or less than the money required to buy the two goods at equilibrium (meaning when their marginal utility to price ratios are equal), how do I know which direction and how far from the equilibrium point to look at without evaluating every...
  34. L

    Does risk aversion cause diminishing marginal utility, or vice versa?

    Let A be the set of possible states of the world, or possible preferences a person could have. Let G(A) be the set of "gambles" or "lotteries", i.e. the set of probability distributions over A. Then each person would have a preferred ordering of the states in A, as well as a preferred ordering...
  35. H

    Cheap way for utility voltage detection

    Hello, I am designing electronic circuit board, and i want to only detect that the utility voltage is on. I don't want to measure the rms value of the voltage, only i wan to make voltage detection. The voltage range should be from 50VAC to 250VAC. I am looking for a cheap, small size...
  36. O

    CAD Benchmarking utility

    Hey guys, Long term lurker here in PF, first time posting though, so here goes :) I am working to help with a bid from an RFP for a Virtualized CAD Workstation environment on VMware Horizon (view). I am on the architectural side of things, not sales. One of the requirements is the ability...
  37. F

    Anyone working in a Utility Company?

    Anyone here who works on a utility company? does your company practice neutral high(neutral on top of the phase conductors) in distribution system?
  38. 9

    Economics: find when utility maximized

    Homework Statement I must "maximize utility". This is done when the slope of -px/py = -MUx/MUy. MUx = (1/4x^-2/3)(y^2/5) MUy = (2/4x^1/3)(y^-1/5) Budget line: 80 = 7x + 2y Homework Equations MUx = (1/4x^-2/3)(y^2/5) MUy = (2/4x^1/3)(y^-1/5) Budget line: 80 = 7x + 2y The Attempt at a...
  39. S

    Equation utility function help

    I understand the idea of the questio, but am perplexed as what to put in the equation to get it to equal $38906.20 Here is the question and answer Your utility function is U = ln(2C) where C is the amount of consumption you have in any given period. Your income is $40,000 per year and there...
  40. I

    Microeconomics Cobb-Douglas Utility Function

    Hello, I have been learning about Cobb-Douglas Utility functions and Cobb-Douglas Production functions. Some of the reading I have incontured have left me confussed. Does anyone know how the utility function difffers from the production function in terms of explaining the exponents. I know...
  41. rhody

    Speccy useful utility if your PC overheats

    My home built PC was shutting down, and you could smell hot wires, once I put speecy on and monitored hard drive, cpu, cores, and graphic card temps in celcius I was able to determine I needed more cooling, new case, extra fans, and huge copper heat sink fixed the problem for good. I put it in...
  42. L

    Advanced Mathematical Methods Class - Question about Utility

    My school is offering a advanced mathematical methods classes next semester, taught by a supposedly world-renowned professor. Everyone to whom I've spoken, students and faculty alike, says he's an amazing teacher who gives you a unique education. However, here is the course description: My...
  43. Y

    Any grapth utility program that can plot graph with spherical coordinates?

    I want to study antenna patterns of different arrangements. I am looking for a very cheap software ( free is even better) to plot graph if I provide the \;R,\theta,\phi. Even if 2D plot would be helpful like keeping either \;\theta\;\hbox { or }\; \phi\; constant and vary the other angle to...
  44. Simfish

    Studying Studying and diminishing marginal utility

    Of course, as with everything else, I've felt that studying for a test often yields diminishing marginal utility. I sometimes get really frustrated when I talk to students who are obsessed with trying to get 4.0s (and who aren't happy with grades in the 3.6-3.7 range, even though these grades...
  45. P

    Why do utility companies decrease the voltage sent houses?

    I have read that most power lines on utility poles in residential neighborhoods carry about 4800 volts. My sources say that the transformers on utility poles decrease the voltage from 4800 volts to about 220 volts in most houses. Someone told me that the utility companies decrease the voltage...
  46. P

    Estimate f ' (pie/ 4) by using a graphing utility

    Homework Statement Let f (x) = sin x. Estimate f ' (pie/ 4) by using a graphing utility. a) 1 / 4 b) √2 /2 c) 1 / 2 d) pie / 4 The Attempt at a Solution Is it sin (45) = √2 /2. I'm wondering if b is the answer.
  47. I

    Utility maximization of potential disasters

    I've been doing some thinking on what resources should be allocated to stymie anthropogenic global warming. Some figures: Anywhere between 88-98% of publishing climate scientists believe in some form of AGW, based on over 6 large scale surveys. In one survey, 41% of meteorologists and...
  48. I

    Graphing a vertical line on graphing utility

    Is it possible to graph a vertical line such as X=2 on a graphing calculator? How would one graph a vertical line on the graphing calculator?
  49. chemisttree

    News Arizona Utility Official Threatens to Cut Off Electricity to Los Angeles

    In response to LA's threatened boycott of all things Arizona, an official of Arizona's version of a Public Utilities Commission (http://www.azcc.gov/divisions/administration/about.asp" [Broken]! This is getting uug-lee..
  50. N

    How to Calculate Marginal Utility and Its Impact on Consumption | U(x1,x2)

    1. Utility function of an individual: U=U(x_1,x_2)=(x_1 +2 )^2 (x_2=3)^3 Where x_1 and x_2 are the quantities of two commodities consumed. 2. Question: FInd the marginal-utility function of each of the commodities and the value of the marginal utility of the first commodity when 3 units of...