A rational consumer is who? What are the characteristics of it?

general information

rational consumer
Let's first find out what isconsumer behavior. This is the name of the process of demand generation on the part of people who choose goods from the market, taking into account their prices and personal budget. A rational consumer is an individual (buyer) in the economy who enters into economic relations with the goal of realizing his material and spiritual needs. All of its actions carry the principle of weight and relative utility of the goods. Given that our needs are endless and diverse, and the income of the buyer is limited, he must constantly make a choice from a large number of goods that he offers to the market. It can be assumed that he aspires to purchase the best products from all available assortment.

The reason for this behavior

rational consumer is
When the problem of personality was studied,the results according to which the source of any activity is precisely the needs. Functional or psychological needs or disadvantages of a particular subject, object, individual, social group or society lead to the fact that they want to satisfy needs. But within the limits of the limited income it is necessary to make a choice. To satisfy their needs, each person in the market of services and goods is guided by his subjective line of behavior, position as an element of the economy and the prevailing economic situation. In order to be able to say that a person is a rational buyer and has appropriate behavior, he must make decisions and take actions that are taken on the basis of the choice when comparing options and take into account a variety of different factors. All this is done in order to find a profitable and reasonable offer for yourself. A rational consumer maximizes utility at the point of touching the indifference curve by the budget line. It should be remembered that he has a restriction in the form of his income. Alas, but now there are no objective criteria for determining which set of goods can be considered the best for each particular consumer. This choice is carried out from a subjective point of view. From this follows the peculiarity that a person behaves rationally not always.

Theory of consumer behavior

rational consumer is in the economy
She considers rational consumers of thosepeople who have an individual scale of preference and operate within it with limited income. Such a person tries to achieve the maximum degree of satisfaction. And rationalism in this case is to get the greatest utility with limited income. But at the heart of consumer choice is always the man's desire to satisfy one or another of his needs. Certain problems create that each individual has his own unique preferences. Their summation is handled by market demand. Through this tool, people's desires are expressed. They can influence the market situation by dividing their income between different services and goods. The price and volume of supply of products in the market largely depend on the consumer factor.

freedom of choice

To begin with, let us note the importance of sovereigntythe consumer. This is the name of the ability of the aggregate consumer to influence the producers through the free choice of goods on the market from all the presented. This is a very important mechanism from the economic point of view. If it is limited, there will be a skewed consumption of certain goods and their production. Ultimately, this can lead to a crisis. It should be noted that there are quite a few mechanisms of modern society that lead to a distortion of freedom of choice:

  1. The effect of imitation. This is the situation when the consumer follows the majority of people.
  2. The effect of the snob. Under this situation, the consumer wants to stand out from his environment.
  3. The effect of demonstrating exclusivity. In this situation, it is provided that a person persistently demonstrates the prestigious consumption.


rational consumer maximizes utility
Let's talk about this criterion and its importancewithin the framework of free choice. Utility is a certain degree of satisfaction, which is ensured by the consumption of a certain good. And the more it is, the less will be the effect. From this point of view, the marginal utility of some products is of interest. So, if you use the product in large quantities, then in time it will not satisfy the person. But after a certain time, he will restore his properties. The theory of marginal utility says how best to distribute their funds to fully meet existing needs with limited resources. It should be noted that the parameters in the calculation are of interest only in the context of subjective human needs. In other words - for each individual will have its own product in a certain amount. As an example, you can take a hungry person and a bowl of soup. The greatest benefit will be the first portion of food. The second dish of soup will be of less use. From the third he can already refuse, because he will be satisfied.

Gossen's laws

There are only two:

  1. The law of diminishing marginal utility. He says that in the context of one continuous act of consumption, each successive unit brings less satisfaction with the unchanged volume of everything else.
  2. Rule of maximization of utility. To obtain the best result from a certain number of benefits, they must be provided in a certain amount, when the marginal utility they will have the same for all.


rational consumer maximizes utility at the point of contact
A rational consumer will choose on a budgetline touch point, the highest of all available to him indifference curves. The rule of maximizing utility is that the income of the consumer should be distributed in such a way that each last used money spent on a product or service brings the same degree of effectiveness. At the same time, it must strive for the greatest value. Let's look at this aspect in more detail with an example. The consumer has 12 rubles. He is offered two goods: A and B. The first production costs 1.5 rubles, and the second - only one monetary unit. A has a utility of 4.5 yutil, while B is 9. In the end result, for the optimal scheme, it will be necessary to buy 6 goods A, and 3 - B. Consider the following factors:

  1. Monetary income.
  2. Preferences and tastes.
  3. The price of goods and services.


rational consumer will choose on the budget line
Being a rational consumer is in the interests ofeach person. But alas, due to a number of features this is not always a reality. As a confirmation, we can consider the previously mentioned imitation effect. Let's look at an example: every person should eat well. Then his body will be able to fully exercise its functions and will be more resistant to various diseases, stresses, stresses and so on. But now you can often observe the situation when a person decides to acquire a "status" thing, as a result of which he has a difficult financial situation. And it can reach a level that will have to significantly save on food, which will lead to various serious health consequences.

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