AskDefine | Define goods

Dictionary Definition

goods n : articles of commerce [syn: commodity, trade goods]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. In the context of "finance|pluralia tantum": That which is produced, then traded, bought or sold, then finally consumed.
  2. Plural of good




that which is produced, traded, bought or sold

Extensive Definition

other uses good
A good or commodity in economics is any object or service that increases utility, directly or indirectly, not to be confused with good in a moral or ethical sense (see Utilitarianism and consequentialist ethical theory). A good that cannot be used by consumers directly, such as an "office building" or "capital equipment", can also be referred to as a good as an indirect source of utility through resale value or as a source of income. A 'good' in economic usage has taken a divergence from root meanings associated with social moralities and legalities, but still retains the positive outlook of the word. For example, if an object or service is sold for a positive price, then it is a "good" since the purchaser considers the utility of the object or service more valuable than the money. '.
In macroeconomics and accounting, a good is contrasted with a service. A good here is defined as a physical (tangible) product capable of being delivered to a purchaser and involves the transfer of ownership from seller to customer, say an apple, as opposed to an (intangible) service, say a haircut. A more general term that preserves the distinction between goods and services is 'commodities'. In microeconomics a 'good' is often used in this more inclusive sense of the word.

Utility characteristics of goods

A good is an object whose consumption increases the utility of the consumer, for which the quantity demanded exceeds the quantity supplied at zero price. Goods are usually modeled as having decreasing marginal utility. The first car an individual purchases is very valuable; the fourth is much less useful. Thus, in these and similar goods, the marginal utility of additional units approaches zero as the quantity consumed increases. Assuming that one cannot re-sell it, there is a point at which a consumer would decline to purchase an additional car, even at a price very near zero. This margin of utility is the consumer's satiation point.
In some cases, such as the above example of a car, the lower limit of utility as quantity increases is zero. In other goods, the utility of a good can cross zero, changing from positive to negative through time. This means that what initially is a good can become a bad if too much of it is consumed. For example, shots of vodka can have positive utility, but beyond some point, additional units make the consumer less happy, that is, they would not be chosen or too many trips to the all-you-can-eat-pasta bar which could create all kinds of gastrointestinal disturbances.
In economics a bad is the opposite of a good. Ultimately, whether an object is a good or a bad depends on each individual consumer, and therefore, it is important to realize that not all goods are good all the time, and not all goods are goods to all people.

Types of goods

Goods can be defined in a variety of ways, depending on a number a characteristics, these are listed in the table below;


  • Bannock, Graham et al. (1997). Dictionary of Economics, Penguin Books.
  • Milgate, Murray (1987), "goods and commodities," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 2, pp. 546-48. Includes historical and contemporary uses of the terms in economics.
goods in Aymara: Yänaka
goods in Catalan: Bé (economia)
goods in Czech: Statek
goods in Welsh: Nwydd
goods in Danish: Gode (økonomi)
goods in German: Gut (Wirtschaftswissenschaft)
goods in Spanish: Bien económico
goods in Persian: کالاهای اقتصادی
goods in French: Bien (économie)
goods in Korean: 재화
goods in Croatian: Ekonomsko dobro
goods in Ido: Bonajo
goods in Indonesian: Barang
goods in Italian: Merce
goods in Lao: ສິນຄ້າ
goods in Lithuanian: Prekė
goods in Hungarian: Javak
goods in Dutch: Goed (economie)
goods in Japanese: 財
goods in Polish: Dobra (ekonomia)
goods in Portuguese: Bem (economia)
goods in Romanian: Bun economic
goods in Russian: Благо
goods in Simple English: Good (economics)
goods in Slovak: Tovar
goods in Finnish: Hyödyke
goods in Swedish: Varor
goods in Tamil: பண்டங்கள்
goods in Contenese: 貨
goods in Chinese: 商品

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ability, ableness, account, acquaintance, acquest, adequacy, announcement, baggage, blue book, briefing, bulletin, bump, caliber, capability, capableness, capacity, cargo, catalog goods, chattels, cloth, commodities, communication, communique, competence, consignment, consumer goods, consumer items, data, datum, directory, dispatch, dower, dowry, drapery, effects, efficacy, efficiency, endowment, enlightenment, equipment, estate and effects, etoffe, evidence, fabric, facility, facts, factual information, faculty, familiarization, felt, fitness, flair, forte, freight, freightage, gen, general information, genius, gift, goods for sale, guidebook, handout, hard information, havings, hereditament, holdings, impedimenta, incidental information, incorporeal hereditament, info, information, instinct, instruction, intelligence, inventory, it, job lot, knowledge, lace, lading, light, line, line of goods, load, long suit, luggage, mail-order goods, makings, material, mention, merchandise, message, metier, napery, natural endowment, natural gift, not an illusion, notice, notification, pack, parts, payload, possessions, potential, power, powers, presentation, proficiency, promotional material, proof, properties, property, publication, publicity, qualification, rag, release, report, shipment, sidelight, sideline, silk, speciality, staples, statement, stock, stock-in-trade, strong flair, strong point, stuff, sufficiency, susceptibility, talent, talents, textile, textile fabric, texture, the article, the dope, the genuine article, the goods, the know, the scoop, the stuff, the very model, the very thing, tissu, tissue, transmission, vendibles, wares, weave, web, weft, what it takes, white book, white paper, woof, wool, word
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