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Marginal Analysis

A type of economic analysis that views individuals as having to choose between discrete amounts of inherently scarce goods and services. Due to scarcity, individuals must prioritize in order to fulfill those needs and desires that are most important to them. Marginal analysis accounts for these preferences and is used to build models that include this decision making process.

Steve Horwitz - What Austrian Economics IS and What Austrian Economics is NOT

Anthony Carilli - The Economic Way of Thinking

Related Publications

Related Freeman Articles

ARTICLE

Value, Cost, Marginal Utility, and Böhm-Bawerk

What governs price?

JANUARY 14, 2011 by SHELDON RICHMAN

As Ludwig von Mises's teacher shows, Austrian economics never fails to fascinate.

ARTICLE

Markets and Marginalism

The Price System Creates Far More Wealth and Opportunity Than Central Direction

FEBRUARY 01, 2001 by DWIGHT R. LEE

To do your best in your personal activities, you have to "equate at the margin," which, as I explained last month, means allocating your time over different activities so that the marginal value of time in every activity is the same. The importance of equating at the margin extends beyond individuals doing as well as possible personally; it is also crucial to the success of the general economy.

ARTICLE

More on Marginalism

JANUARY 01, 2001 by DWIGHT R. LEE

There are so many economic issues that cannot be understood properly without recognizing the importance of marginal considerations that I could continue writing columns on marginalism indefinitely. Indeed, marginal analysis will reappear both explicitly and implicitly in my future columns. But this month I will wrap up my emphasis on marginalism with some additional observations on this crucial economic concept.

ARTICLE

Marginalism and the Morality of Pricing Human Lives

We Price Our Lives Every Day by the Actions We Take

OCTOBER 01, 2000 by DWIGHT R. LEE

When I ask students in my large economics classes if some things are just too important to put a price on, someone always answers, "human life." This seems like a reasonable answer.

ARTICLE

Marriages, Mistresses, and Marginalism

Economics Can Help Us Understand Family Dynamics

AUGUST 01, 2000 by DWIGHT R. LEE

Distinguishing between marginal and total values is crucial to understanding many human activities and decisions. Almost all the decisions we make are made at the margin, but there are exceptions. We are sometimes faced with decisions that force us to compare the total value of one option to the marginal value of another.

Related Multimedia

MULTIMEDIA - VIDEO

What Austrian Economics IS and What Austrian Economics Is NOT

NOVEMBER 14, 2012 by STEVEN HORWITZ

Steve Horwitz, Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University, explains what Austrian Economics is and what Austrian Economics is not, clearing up some common misconceptions.

This video is based on Steve's essay by the same name:
http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2010/11/what-austrian-economics-is-and-wha...

To learn more about Austrian Economics, visit http://www.fee.org

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November 2014

It's been 40 years since F. A. Hayek received his Nobel Prize. His insights, particularly on the distribution of knowledge and the impossibility of economic planning, remain hugely important today. In this issue, we look back on the influence of his work. Max Borders and Craig Biddle debate whether liberty must be defended from one absolute foundation, further reflections on Scottish secession, and how technology is already changing our world for the better--including how robots, despite the unease they cause, will only accelerate this process.
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