Indifference Curve Analysis: The Correct and the Incorrect
KeywordsIndifference curve, convex, concave, budget line
AbstractThe thesis of this paper is that when the indifference curve is concave to the origin, the optimal point on the budget line is not the corner solution on the highest (most north eastern) indifference curve, the analysis all too often offered in the literature, but, rather, somewhat paradoxically, the lowest (most south western) indifference curve. The economics profession, as articulated through the megaphone of intermediate micro economics texts, offers a mixed result in this regard. Some few do offer a correct analysis, but many do not; others ignore the issue entirely. The contribution of the present paper and the aim of our research is to provide a correction of the widespread but erroneous indifference curve analysis that appears in many of our intermediate microeconomics texts. Our methodology is one of contrast: we offer what we see as both the correct and the incorrect versions of indifference curve analysis.
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