Talk:Good (economics)

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Old talk[edit]

Are they occasionally abused because they are free?

Well, dear anon, the answer is - sometimes. See free rider problem for example. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:42, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)you love dogs

Does price need to be included?[edit]

Bluemoose added:

that can be sold at a price in a market, ... Air, for example, is very useful but is not a good as could not fetch a price at a market.

This seems a strange extra requirement. Does that mean that for scuba divers air is a good (since they pay for the privalege), but for someone in the middle of Montana it is not since they don't pay for the air? I think the only significant economic difference is that the free good will be used up to the point of saturation, and so the utility of the last bit of the free good is zero. But it seems odd to say that something would be a good if you had to pay for it, but because you don't it is not a good. Jrincayc 29 June 2005 12:38 (UTC)

A scuba divers air will fetch a price in a market as it is compressed. Maybe it could be clarified a bit. Other than that it isnt really a matter of debate, it is part of the definition of a good (in economics), according to the penguin dictionary of economics.
Be careful not to confuse the economic definition of a good, and the accounting definition.
I will change it too "but is not an economic good as..." thanks. Bluemoose 29 June 2005 13:22 (UTC)
p.s. "Does that mean that for scuba divers air is a good (since they pay for the privalege), but for someone in the middle of Montana it is not since they don't pay for the air?" Yes, that is exactly right. Bluemoose 29 June 2005 13:23 (UTC)
The definition Price Theory by Steven Landsburg for Goods is "Items of which the consumer would prefer to have more rather than less". The definition in Penguin Dictionary seems wierd to me that what is a good depends on its price in a market. By that definition, Wikipedia is not a good, but Britannica is. The definition would make writting the article Free good and Public good torturous (as in what terminalogy do you use for what they call goods?). I think price in a market is a decent sign that something is a good, but should not be considered a nessecary part of what a good is. I think what Penguin Dictionary is driving at, is that if it is a good, somewhere, out there, there is a concievable market that the good would get a price at. For example, air is a good, whether in montana or on the moon, because there exists a market somewhere that air would be paid for (for a real example, I have heard that in Tokyo, there are air vending machines that sell fresh air). So, at bare minimum, the example of air is wrong. Jrincayc 30 June 2005 01:53 (UTC)
An economic good is a physical object or service that has value to people and can be sold for a non-negative price in the marketplace.[1]
P>0 and has utility [2]
In other words, a good is an economic good if people want more of it than would be available if the good were available for free. (hence it is priced) [3]
...have a price are known as economic goods... [4]
It is slightly silly, but thats just economics. The example of wikipedia is a good one, i suppose the answer is either 1) wikipedia is simply not an economic good. or 2) it could fetch a price if it wasnt being given away for free.
Lets call it atmospheric air then. Bluemoose 30 June 2005 07:49 (UTC)
I think the price > 0 part is redunant to the true definition of dU/dx > 0. If the utility is positive, then at least theoretically, there exists some market where the price would be greater than 0. So, I think that p > 0 (undistorted market ...) is a sufficient condition, but p > 0 is not a necessary condition for something to be a good. The necessary condition is that utility is positive.
As for wikipedia, I think 2 is the case, (back to the theoretically a market could exist), and by the necessary condition (utility > 0), it is a good. As to atmospheric air, if you are a member of the relatively rich contries, there is a price for atmospheric air of somewhat higher electric prices (various pollution control devices cost money). So, I think the most useful definition is that utility > 0, and if people voluntarily pay a non-zero price for something, then it is also a good by positive price demonstrating that it has positive utility. Jrincayc 30 June 2005 12:44 (UTC)
Yes, you are right, price>0 is implied by utility>0, key word is implied, there is nothing wrong in keeping it in, and as every source i could find says price>0, i think we should keep it in. Maybe we could change the intro a bit to relect fact that P>0 and U>0 are pretty much the same thing. Bluemoose 30 June 2005 13:14 (UTC)
I modified the page in a way that is satisfying to me. Feel free to edit if you disagree, but I tried to capture this discussion. Jrincayc 1 July 2005 02:36 (UTC)

I find the start of the article really confusing, because there are a whole load of irrelevant terms there which confuse the need to give a simple definition first up and to distinguish the term from first bads and second services. Wiki articles become crowded and confusing very easily and I want to pare back the introduction a bit to include a fuller discussion later in the article. The Land 23:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm all for clarity, and agree with you to an extent, but please don't simply remove stuff. Also, sources have been cited above for the current content, so if you make any changes that alter the meaning please provide some new sources. thanks Martin 23:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Right. I think I've clarified it without removing any information. None of the sources above are particularly satisfactory - see if I can find a better one - but I think the current wording sums up the discussion between Jrincayc and you better than what stood. The Land 00:20, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Good job. Martin 00:29, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I have tagged this article for general cleanup. aaron 07:56, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I did my best to clean up the utility section. I think it helps out with some of these confusions. Price is only necessary because it is the easiest way to convey scarcity in the debate, which is important. It is also a way to imagine consumption (you consume what you buy). It isn't strictly necessary however.

For further clarification-- a good is any object whose consumption increases the level of happiness, or utility, of the consumer. Thus, oxygen is a good, whether you pay for it or not (whether the price is nonzero or not). Gcolive 20:29, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

References and clean up needed[edit]

This page is in need of references. Many of the types of the goods are not recognized by the mainstream economic literature. If references to established literature were included, "invalid" types of good can be easily identified. At least common good is one that is not recognized by the literature.

What is "the literature". Martin 18:49, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

do you know literature means —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.195.205.115 (talk) 15:45, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

New version[edit]

The newer version of this article is far from satisfactory, to the point where someone added the cleanup tag, I have now made a new version of the article, which I think is much more encyclopedic, much tidier and incorporates the merger of accounting good better. See Good (economics and accounting), hopefully we can then redirect this article and the good (accounting) article to that one. Martin 23:33, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

When I expressed support for the idea of moving the article, the last thing I meant was for the creation of a fork. There is no point whatsoever in having an article about 'Good (economics) and one about 'Good (accounting and economics). The Land 00:01, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I know, thats why I said they should redirect there. no forks Martin 00:02, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, you've just created a fork, with what seems like an older version of this article. A move would have been much simpler. The Land 00:06, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I dont like to make massive changes without consulting first, I have now moved it properly, thanks Martin 00:10, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup tag[edit]

I've removed the cleanup tag: it was added without comment here. If people think it's genuinely in need of cleanup, pleas say why.

Moved version[edit]

I think we ran into each other with a move ;-) - now only to worry about the content. I think the page as it was at Good (economics) is better: fewer words, just as much information. The Land 00:11, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but the older version is really inferior, it is fragmented, unencyclopedic and messy, to the point where it even got a cleanup tag, which you removed without cleanign it up at all. Martin 00:14, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that the nme should be Good (economics); accounting is only a subfield of economics, and nobody is going to type the current title into searchbox.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:55, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure that accounting should be seen as a subfield of enconomics, but see my remarks below. I have moved the article. —SlamDiego←T 00:36, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

I did my best to clean up the utility section. I think it helps out with some of these confusions. On the price question: price is only necessary because it is the easiest way to convey scarcity in the debate, which is important. It is also a way to imagine consumption (you consume what you buy). It isn't strictly necessary however.

For further clarification-- a good is any object whose consumption increases the level of happiness, or utility, of the consumer. Thus, oxygen is a good, whether you pay for it or not (whether the price is nonzero or not).

Also-- I added a page for bads. I think this helps to clarify things as well. Gcolive 20:43, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm removing the sentence about goods being "positive;" it seems that the usage has already been dissociated with the value meaning of the common adjective "good." If anyone is offended, I'll understand; I simply don't think it adds much. aschwa5 8/8/08 —Preceding undated comment was added at 01:55, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Addition of summary of types of good[edit]

I propose an addition of a summary of the different types of good, either as an additional section or a new article linked in the Goodtypes template, or added to the Goodtypes template itself.

The reason for this proposal is that there are too many types of goods available to the reader, and that the names of the goods many not be clearly indicative of its nature, thus an addition of a summary would aid the reader in navigating between the articles regarding the different types of goods.

Xieliwei 18:47, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I came here to say the same. A summary is needed, as it is too laborious to pursue all the links currently given in Types Of Good. A quick two line summary of each type is required. 80.0.103.49 (talk) 21:07, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

“Good (economics and accounting)”[edit]

Entitling this article “Good (economics and accounting)” was rather like entitling it “Good (economics and engineering)”. Certainly accounting is concerned with goods and services, but so is engineering. However, their concern is founded in considerations that are economic. —SlamDiego←T 00:34, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Definition[edit]

The existing definition of the 'Good' has a broken/invalid link; it would be prudent to locate a new one. Pestergaines (talk) 21:14, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Divisible good[edit]

Why the hell isn't there a divisible good page? Shame on you, wikipedians! Don't let the rest of the world see this glaring error in an otherwise brilliant encyclopaedia. 137.132.3.7 (talk) 17:04, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Section: Types of goods[edit]

"Types of goods: Goods can be defined in a variety of ways, depending on a number a characteristics. These are listed in the box at the bottom of this article."

Hey people, are you really serious? This isn't a joke? I hardly can believe that... the German article is far better, and so is the Spanish and in other languages. Maybe it is not important to describe the characteristics of each good here but at least there should be an outline plus the differences between the different types of goods. -- Grochim (talk) 09:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)


Bad definition[edit]

The definition leaves out intangible good IMO. Software delivered over the internet. A music file delivered by email. And there's no discussion of licensing which is usually central to this sort of good. But I'm not an economist, and I leave this for others to sort out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.9.150.190 (talk) 00:26, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Ambiguous meaning of the word "tangible" in the introduction[edit]

In the introduction, the word "tangible" seems to be taking on ambiguous definitions. In one case, "in economic theory all goods are considered tangible," it seems to mean "to be real or exist," but in another case, "certain classes of goods, such as information, may only exist in intangible forms," it seems to mean "to be physically touchable or tactile." Since this is an economics article, perhaps it would be better to only use "tangible" with the definition given to it by economists, and to describe things like information and news as things that aren't "tactile." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.71.140.51 (talk) 05:07, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

No merchandise[edit]

And that's sad. Merchandise should be. --Поверхаххапайко (talk) 08:46, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Goods - information and computer software and electricity[edit]

In my view, the above three are goods, but not much at all. They are actually services, far more than they are goods. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.37.64.48 (talk) 01:06, 31 August 2012 (UTC)