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Goods are items that are usually (but not always)
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: ...
, such as pens, physical books, salt, apples, and hats. Services are activities provided by other people, who include
doctors Doctor or The Doctor may refer to: Personal titles * Doctor (title), the holder of an accredited academic degree * A medical practitioner, including: ** Physician ** Surgeon *Other roles ** Doctor of the Church, a title given to those with g ...
, lawn care workers,
dentists A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a medical professional who specializes in dentistry, the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. The dentist's Dental auxiliary, supporting team aids in ...
,
barbers A barber is a person whose occupation is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave men's and boys' hair or beards. A barber's place of work is known as a "barbershop" or a "barber's". Barbershops are also places of social interaction and public ...

barbers
,
waiters Waiting staff (British English), waitstaff (North American English), waiters (male)/waitresses (female) or servers (North American English), are those who work at a restaurant A restaurant is a business Business is the activity of ma ...

waiters
, or online servers, a digital book, a digital
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
or a digital
movie A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...

movie
. Taken together, it is the
production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a statistic, g ...
,
distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functions in mathematical analysis. Distr ...
, and
consumption Consumption may refer to: *Resource consumption *Tuberculosis, an infectious disease, historically in biology: * Consumption (ecology), receipt of energy by consuming other organisms in social sciences: * Consumption (economics), the purchasing of ...
of
goods In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...

goods
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 underpins all
economic activity Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...
and
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

trade
. According to
economic theory 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. ...

economic theory
, consumption of goods and services is assumed to provide
utility As a topic of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within thos ...

utility
(satisfaction) to the
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 bu ...
or end-user, although
business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business name A trad ...

business
es also consume goods and services in the course of producing other goods and services (see: Distribution: Channels and intermediaries).


History

Physiocratic economists categorized production into productive labour and unproductive labour.
Adam Smith Adam Smith ( 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist, philosopher as well as a moral philosopher Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and ...

Adam Smith
expanded this thought by arguing that any economic activities directly related on material products (goods) were productive, and those activities which involved non-material production (services) were unproductive. This emphasis on material production was adapted by
David Ricardo David Ricardo (18 April 1772 – 11 September 1823) was a British political economist, one of the most influential of the classical economists along with Thomas Malthus Thomas Robert Malthus (; 13/14 February 1766 – 23 December 1834) w ...

David Ricardo
,
Thomas Robert Malthus Thomas Robert Malthus (; 13/14 February 1766 – 23 December 1834) was an English cleric, scholar and influential economist in the fields of political economy and demography. In his 1798 book ''An Essay on the Principle of Population The ...

Thomas Robert Malthus
and
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), also cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most i ...
, and influenced later
Marxian economics Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, is a heterodox In religion, heterodoxy (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world f ...
. Other, mainly Italian, 18th-century economists maintained that all desired goods and services were productive.


Service-goods continuum

The division of
consumables Consumables (also known as consumable goods, non-durable goods, or soft goods) are goods that are intended to be consumed. People have, for example, always consumed food and water. Consumables are in contrast to durable goods. Disposable products ...
into services is a simplification: these are not discrete categories. Most
business theorist A theory involves concepts or Construct (psychology), constructs that are related in such a way as to explain why certain phenomena occur. An organizational theory involves a set of concepts/constructs that are related to each other and explain h ...
s see a continuum with pure service at one endpoint and pure tangible
commodity 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 ...
goods at the other. Most
products Product may refer to: Business * Product (business), an item that serves as a solution to a specific consumer problem. * Product (project management), a deliverable or set of deliverables that contribute to a business solution Mathematics * Produc ...
fall between these two extremes. For example, a
restaurant A restaurant is a business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." ...

restaurant
provides a physical good ( prepared food), but also provides services in the form of ambience, the setting and clearing of the table, etc. Although some utilities, such as
electricity Electricity is the set of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physi ...

electricity
and
communications service provider A telecommunications service provider (TSP) is a type of communications service provider that has traditionally provided telephone A telephone is a telecommunications Appliance (disambiguation), device that permits two or more users to c ...
s, exclusively provide services, other utilities deliver physical goods, such as
water utilities The water industry provides drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly col ...
. For public sector contracting purposes,
electricity Electricity is the set of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physi ...

electricity
supply is defined among goods rather than services in the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...
, whereas under United States federal procurement regulations it is treated as a service. Goods are normally structural and can be transferred in an instant while services are delivered over a period of time. Goods can be returned while a service once delivered cannot. Goods are not always tangible and may be virtual e.g. a book may be paper or electronic.
Marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of adv ...

Marketing
theory makes use of the service-goods continuum as an important concept which 'enables marketers to see the relative goods/services composition of total products'. In a narrower sense, service refers to
quality Quality may refer to: Concepts *Quality (business), the ''non-inferiority'' or ''superiority'' of something *Quality (philosophy), an attribute or a property *Quality (physics), in response theory *Energy quality, used in various science disciplin ...
of
customer service Customer service is the provision of Service (economics), service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the gues ...
: the measured appropriateness of assistance and support provided to a customer. This particular usage occurs frequently in
retailing Retail is the sale of goods 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 ( ...
.


In international law

Distinctions are made between goods and services in the context of international trade liberalization. For example, the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through ...
's
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade International trade is the exchange of capital Capital most commonly refers to: * ...
(GATT) covers international trade in goods and the
General Agreement on Trade in Services The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can s ...
(GATS) covers the
services sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sector Image:Economic sectors and income.JPG, 250px, Percentages of a country's economy made up by different sectors. Countries with h ...
.WTO
Services trade
accessed 17 November 2015


See also

*
Commodity (Marxism) In classical political economy and especially Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trie ...
*
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 ...
*
Goods and services taxGST may refer to: Taxes * Sales tax, General sales tax * Generation-skipping transfer tax, in the United States * Goods and Services Tax, the name for the value-added tax in several jurisdictions: ** Goods and Services Tax (Australia) ** Goods and ...
*
List of countries by GDP sector composition This is a list of countries by gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period. List of countri ...
*
Tertiary sector of the economy The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sector Image:Economic sectors and income.JPG, 250px, Percentages of a country's economy made up by different sectors. Countries with h ...
*
Three-sector model The three-sector model in economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytolo ...


References


Further reading

* 274 pages. * 64 pages. *Smith, Adam.
The Wealth of Nations
' at
Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labour for community service. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, educati ...


External links


International Classification of Goods and Services
at
World Intellectual Property Organization The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pu ...

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
at
Code of Federal Regulations The ''Code of Federal Regulations'' (''CFR'') is the codification of the general and permanent regulations published in the ''Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazett ...

Code of Federal Regulations

Nice Agreement Tenth Edition – General Remarks, Class Headings and Explanatory Notes – Version 2012
{{Authority control Goods (economics) Services (economics)