Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Measuring UtilityFrom the Marginal Revolution to Behavioral Economics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ivan Moscati

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199372768

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199372768.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2020

Still on the Quest for a Unit

Still on the Quest for a Unit

Utility Measurement in Wieser, Böhm-Bawerk, Edgeworth, Fisher, and Marshall, 1880–1910

(p.49) chapter 3 Still on the Quest for a Unit
Measuring Utility

Ivan Moscati

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 moves to the second generation of marginalists and examines how Friedrich von Wieser, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, Irving Fisher, and Alfred Marshall conceived of measurement and how they addressed the issue of the measurability of utility. Their respective approaches to utility measurement were highly diverse. Wieser summed the utilities of goods as if they were measurable in terms of some unit. Böhm-Bawerk claimed that individuals can assess utility ratios. Edgeworth suggested the just-perceivable increment of pleasure as a unit to measure utility on the basis of introspection. Fisher proposed adopting a utility unit that could be derived from observable relations between commodities. Marshall took willingness to pay as an indirect measure of utility. Despite the diversity of their approaches, all five economists identified measurement with unit-based measurement. Therefore, just like Jevons, Menger, and Walras, they were also not cardinalists in the current sense of the term.

Keywords:   Friedrich von Wieser, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, hedonimetry, just-perceivable increment, Irving Fisher, util, Alfred Marshall, willingness to pay, mentalism and instrumentalism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .