What Does the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility Explain?

A Law of decreasing marginal utility can be explained as follows: when a person consumes the item or product, their satisfaction or benefit they receive from the item decreases as they consume more of the item. For instance, a person may purchase a particular kind of chocolate, but only for a time. Then, they’ll purchase less and select a different kind of chocolate or purchase cookies as the pleasure they originally felt from chocolate is diminishing.

In economics”the law of decreasing marginal utility” says that margin utility of a product or service decreases the increasing amounts of the product are used by a person. Economic actors get less satisfaction and less satisfaction consumption of incremental quantities of a product.

Understanding the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

If an individual engages in or consumes an economic product the individual behaves in a manner that shows the way they view the good. Therefore, the first product consumed meets the greatest desire of the consumer. The second one results in lower satisfaction and it goes on.

Consider, for instance, someone who is living on an island that is deserted and discovers a bottle of water that washes up on the shore. The person could take a sip of the first bottle, indicating that quenching your thirst is the primary usage that the drink could have. One could shower with the second bottle or perhaps decide to keep it to use the time.

If they put it off for later, this means that the person is valuing the potential use of water much more highly than they do bathing in the present however, it is not as important as the immediate satisfaction the thirst. This is known as ordinal time preference. This is a concept that assists in understanding the importance of savings and investing in comparison to actual consumption and spending.

The above example also provides a reason for the reasons demand curves are downwardly sloping in microeconomic models because each additional unit of product or service is put towards a less beneficial usage.

Diminishing Marginal Utility Examples

The law of diminishing marginal utility isn’t exclusive to any particular sector. The broad concept applies to various sectors in different ways. In general, it has been scientifically proven that consumers exercise more care and consideration when confronted with more utility offers. 1 Here are some of the ways that reducing marginal utility can affect the processes of the business process.


The method of selling products significantly changes according to the consumer’s marginal utility potential. Take a look at the salespersonwho sells you your first phone. If your marginal utility is high for any phone that is working selling is simple. But, if you already own a smartphone and you are a customer, the strategies employed by the salesperson may differ.

While not directly related to the phrase “read the room,” the idea of decreasing marginal utility is applicable, since not every consumer will be able to associate the same value for a specific product. When offered a single free peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, for example, some consumers (including those allergic to peanut butter) may have negative utility while most people will have positive marginal utility .

Manufacturing/Inventory Management

Businesses must take into consideration the law of decreasing marginal utility when planning the future manufacturing schedules. It isn’t always possible to rely on the previous manufacturing levels as fluctuations in demand for consumer goods will affect the quantity of products required.

This idea is crucial for businesses that have stock. In the law of decreasing marginal use, it could result in a dramatic drop-off. Consider the usage of cell phones. Most people only require one. There is a massive leap in the value of having no phones to having just one. If a market is quickly filled with people who have cellphones, companies might be left with a surplus of inventory.


Marketers make use of an idea of decreasing marginal utility since they wish to maintain a high marginal utility for the items they offer. Consuming a product is done for its satisfaction however, too excessive consumption of a product may result in a situation where the marginal utility gets to zero as consumers have had enough the product and are satisfied. Of course, the marginal utility is contingent on the individual and the product consumed.

This is a crucial idea for businesses that offer a an extensive range of products. Imagine your favourite coffee shop. If the cafe only sold one product, customers will likely become bored of the product and its utility would decline. Marketing professionals need to balance the interest in a range of items to keep buyers engaged in a variety of merchandise.

What Is Meant By Marginal Utility?

Marginal utility is the amount of benefit that a consumer gets from consuming an additional unit. The value you gain from each additional unit you consume is different as the law of diminishing marginal utility states that the benefit will eventually start to diminish. The first pizza you consume may be tasty, but the 15th slice could be a bit uncomfortable.

What Is the Importance of the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility?

Law of decreasing marginal utility governs various aspects of how an organization operates. The company has to adjust the much of its goods are in inventory, and its sales strategies, as a result it is a law. Furthermore, a business’s marketing strategy is often based on the balance of marginal utility across all product ranges.

Can Marginal Utility Be Zero?

The marginal utility of a home not only be zero but it could also drop below zero. Consider a summer barbeque. If you’ve not eaten breakfast, that first hot dog is tasty and the second isn’t too terrible either. After some time, you’ll be less inclined to eat hot dogs, and you may become sick (have negative effects) If you keep eating more.


There are some exceptions in the rule of decreasing marginal utility. For instance this law may not apply when it comes to collectors who are equally thrilled (or even more) about purchasing your tenth rarity coin their first. However this law that diminishes marginal utility can help to explain why people are less and less happy with each product they purchase.

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