The word “value” refers to the exchange amounts of a good. According to Marshall, “the word value is relative and states the relation among two things at a specific place and time”.

Value is of two types:

(1) value–in–use and
(2) Value–in– exchange.

Though air, rain and sunshine contain value–in–use, they do not have value–in–exchange. In economics, we are concerned only in those goods that have value–in–exchange. For a good to have value– in–exchange, it should possess utility, it should be scarce in relation to demand and it should be possible for us to exchange it. In another words, all economic goods contain value-in-exchange.

Value is usually measured in money and it is an associative term. The value of a thing changes according to time and circumstances. For illustration, ice has much value in summer than in winter.


Whenever value is stated in money, it is termed as price. Usually, economists make no distinction among value and price. All prices are associated to one another. They form the price system. The prices most well-known to us are the prices we give for goods sold in market, which is, retail prices. Many payments such as rent, wages and interest are also prices that we pay respectively to land, labor and capital. The price system plays a very significant role in a capitalistic economy. Buyers state their desire for goods only via prices. Each price we pay for a good is a vote in favor of it. It is the price system which regulates the economic activity of a society.

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