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In
economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. ...
, goods are items that satisfy human
want The idea of want can be examined from many perspectives. In secular societies want might be considered similar to the emotion desire, which can be studied scientifically through the disciplines of psychology Psychology is the science of mi ...
s and provide
utility Within economics, the concept of utility is used to model worth or value. Its usage has evolved significantly over time. The term was introduced initially as a measure of pleasure or happiness within the theory of utilitarianism by moral philosop ...

utility
, for example, to a
consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or Service (economics), services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, not directly related to entrepreneurial or bus ...
making a purchase of a satisfying product. A common distinction is made between goods which are transferable, and
services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
, which are not transferable. A good is an "economic good" if it is useful to people but scarce in relation to its demand so that human effort is required to obtain it.Samuelson, P. Anthony., Samuelson, W. (1980). Economics. 11th ed. / New York: McGraw-Hill. In contrast,
free goods Free may refer to: Concept * Freedom, having the ability to act or change without constraint * Emancipate, to procure political rights, as for a disenfranchised group * Free will, control exercised by rational agents over their actions and decis ...
, such as air, are naturally in abundant supply and need no conscious effort to obtain them.
Private goods 250px, These rivalrous, as the same piece of cheese can only be consumed once. They are also excludability">excludable, as it is possible for the store prevent someone, such as a non-customer who will not pay the price, from consuming the cheese, a ...
are things owned by people, such as
televisions Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or 3D television, three dimensions and sound. The term can refe ...

televisions
, living room furniture, wallets, cellular telephones, almost anything owned or used on a daily basis that is not food-related. A
consumer good A final goods or consumer goods is a commodity In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, ...
or "final good" is any item that is ultimately consumed, rather than used in the production of another good. For example, a
microwave oven A microwave oven (commonly referred to as a microwave) is an electric oven that heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic spectrum, electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range. This induces Dipole#Molecular dipoles, ...

microwave oven
or a
bicycle File:Campana clásica de bicicleta (sonido) 02.wav, Classic bell of a bicycle A bicycle, also called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered transport, human-powered or motorized bicycle, motor-powered, bicycle pedal, pedal-driven, single-track ve ...
that is sold to a consumer is a final good or consumer good, but the components that are sold to be used in those goods are
intermediate good Intermediate goods, producer goods or semi-finished products are goods, such as partly finished goods, used as inputs in the production of other goods including final goods. A firm may make and then use intermediate goods, or make and then sell, o ...
s. For example,
textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, o ...

textile
s or
transistor file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.4, Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showing Metal gate, gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The gate is separated from the body by an insulating layer (pink). A ...

transistor
s can be used to make some further goods. Commercial goods are construed as tangible products that are manufactured and then made available for supply to be used in an industry of commerce. Commercial goods could be tractors, commercial vehicles, mobile structures, airplanes, and even roofing materials. Commercial and personal goods as categories are very broad and cover almost everything a person sees from the time they wake up in their home, on their commute to work to their arrival at the workplace.
Commodities In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...
may be used as a
synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme, or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, morpheme, or phrase in the same language. For example, the words ''begin'', ''start'', ''commence'', and ''initiate'' are all synonyms of one another ...
for economic goods but often refer to marketable
raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials that are feedstock for future finished products. As fe ...
s and
primary products The primary sector of the economy includes any Industry (economics), industry involved in the extraction and production of raw materials, such as farming, logging, hunting, fishing, and mining. The primary sector tends to make up a larger portion ...
. Although common goods are
tangible According to the philosopher Piyush Mathur (2017), "''Tangibility is the property that a phenomenon exhibits if it has and/or transports mass and/or energy and/or momentum". Mathur, Piyush (2017) ''Technological Forms and Ecological Communication: ...
, certain classes of goods, such as
information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is data – this becomes information when the business is able ...

information
, only take
intangible Intangibles or intangible may refer to: * Intangible asset, an asset class used in accounting * Intellectual capital, the difference in value between tangible assets (physical and financial) and market value * Intellectual property, a legal concept ...
forms. For example, among other goods an
apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wher ...
is a tangible object, while
news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different Media (communication), media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and wi ...

news
belongs to an intangible class of goods and can be perceived only by means of an instrument such as print or
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

television
.


Utility and characteristics of goods

Goods may increase or decrease their utility directly or indirectly and may be described as having
marginal utilityIn economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and ...
. Some things are useful, but not scarce enough to have monetary value, such as the
Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosphere (0.04402961% at April 2019 concentration ). Number ...

Earth's atmosphere
, these are referred to as ' free goods'. In normal parlance, "goods" is always a plural word, but economists have long termed a single item of goods "a good". In economics, a
bad Bad or BAD may refer to: Common meanings *Evil, the opposite of moral good *Error, Erroneous, inaccurate or incorrect *Unhealthy, or counter to well-being *Antagonist, the threat or obstacle of moral good Acronyms * BAD-2, a Soviet armored tro ...
is the opposite of a good. Ultimately, whether an object is a good or a bad depends on each individual consumer and therefore, not all goods are goods to all people.


Types of goods

Goods' diversity allows for their classification into different categories based on distinctive characteristics, such as tangibility and (ordinal) relative elasticity. A tangible good like an apple differs from an intangible good like information due to the impossibility of a person to physically hold the latter, whereas the former occupies physical space. Intangible goods differ from services in that final (intangible) goods are transferable and can be traded, whereas a service cannot.
Price elasticity A good's price elasticity of demand is a measure of how sensitive the quantity demanded of it is to its price. When the price rises, quantity demanded falls for almost any good, but it falls more for some than for others. The price elasticity giv ...

Price elasticity
also differentiates types of goods. An elastic good is one for which there is a relatively large change in quantity due to a relatively small change in price, and therefore is likely to be part of a family of
substitute goodIn microeconomics Microeconomics (from Greek prefix ''mikro-'' meaning "small" + ''economics'') is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and Theory of the firm, firms in making decisions regarding the allocation of scar ...
s; for example, as pen prices rise, consumers might buy more pencils instead. An inelastic good is one for which there are few or no substitutes, such as tickets to major sporting events, original works by famous artists, and prescription medicine such as insulin.
Complementary good In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods a ...
s are generally more inelastic than goods in a family of substitutes. For example, if a rise in the price of beef results in a decrease in the quantity of beef demanded, it is likely that the quantity of hamburger buns demanded will also drop, despite no change in buns' prices. This is because hamburger buns and beef (in Western culture) are
complementary goods In economics, a complementary good is a Goods (economics), good whose appeal increases with the popularity of its complement. Technically, it displays a negative cross elasticity of demand and that demand for it increases when the price of another ...
. It is important to note that goods considered complements or substitutes are relative associations and should not be understood in a vacuum. The degree to which a good is a substitute or a complement depends on its relationship to other goods, rather than an intrinsic characteristic, and can be measured as
cross elasticity of demand A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique lines, in the shape of the Latin letter X, is also termed a s ...
by employing statistical techniques such as covariance and correlation. The following chart illustrates the classification of goods according to their exclusivity and competitiveness.


Trading of goods

Goods are capable of being physically delivered to a
consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or Service (economics), services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, not directly related to entrepreneurial or bus ...
. Goods that are '' economic intangibles'' can only be stored, delivered, and consumed by means of
media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications deliv ...
. Goods, both tangibles and intangibles, may involve the transfer of product
ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be any asset, including an object, land or real estate, intellectual property, or until the Nineteenth Century, nineteenth century, slaves, human beings. Owner ...
to the consumer. Services do not normally involve transfer of ownership of the service itself, but may involve transfer of ownership of goods developed or marketed by a service provider in the course of the service. For example, sale of storage related goods, which could consist of storage sheds, storage containers, storage buildings as tangibles or storage supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap, tape, bags and the like which are consumables, or distributing
electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its positio ...

electricity
among consumers is a service provided by an electric utility company. This service can only be experienced through the consumption of
electrical energy Electrical energy is energy derived from electric potential energy or kinetic energy. When used loosely, ''electrical energy'' refers to energy that has been converted ''from'' electric potential energy. This energy is supplied by the combination ...
, which is available in a variety of
voltage Voltage, electric potential difference, electric pressure or electric tension is the difference in electric potential The electric potential (also called the ''electric field potential'', potential drop, the electrostatic potential) is the ...

voltage
s and, in this case, is the ''economic goods'' produced by the electric utility company. While the service (namely, distribution of electrical energy) is a process that remains in its entirety in the ownership of the electric service provider, the goods (namely, electric energy) is the object of ownership transfer. The consumer becomes an electric energy owner by purchase and may use it for any lawful purposes just like any other goods.


See also

*
Fast-moving consumer goods Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), also known as consumer packaged goods (CPG), are products that are sold quickly and at a relatively low cost. Examples include non-durable household goodsHousehold goods are goods and products used within ...
*
Final goods A final goods or consumer goods is a commodity In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, ...
*
Intangible asset An intangible asset is an asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that can be used to produce positive econom ...
* Intangible good *
List of economics topics The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to economics: Economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distrib ...
*
Goods and services Goods are items that are usually (but not always) tangible, such as pens, salt, apples, and hats. Services are activities provided by other people, who include doctors, lawn care workers, dentists, barbers, waiters, or online servers, a book, a ...
*
Service (economics) A service is a transaction in which no physical goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distr ...
*
Tangible property In law, tangible property is literally anything that Tangibility, can be touched, and includes both real property and personal property (or moveable property), and stands in distinction to intangible property. In English law and some Commonwealt ...


Notes


References

* Bannock, Graham ''et al.'' (1997). ''Dictionary of Economics'', Penguin Books. * Milgate, Murray (1987), "goods and commodities," ''
The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics ''The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics'' (2018), 3rd ed., is an twenty-volume reference work on economics published by Palgrave Macmillan. It contains around 3,000 entries, including many classic essays from the original Inglis Palgrave Dictiona ...
'', v. 2, pp. 546–48. Includes historical and contemporary uses of the terms in economics. * Vuaridel, R. (1968). Une définition des biens économiques. (A definition of economic goods). L'Année sociologique (1940/1948-), 19, 133-170. Stable JStor URL


External links

* {{Authority control Goods (economics), Utility Supply chain management Microeconomics