Distinctions between “Goods” and “Commodities”

I was wondering what differences and relations are between goods and commodities, from economics perspective?

  1. From good:

    In economics and accounting, a good is
    a product that can be used to satisfy
    some desire or need. More narrowly but
    commonly, a good is a tangible
    physical product that can be
    contrasted with a service which is
    intangible. As such, it is capable of
    being delivered to a purchaser and
    involves the transfer of ownership
    from seller to customer. For example,
    an apple is a tangible good, as
    opposed to a haircut, which is an
    (intangible) service. One usage that
    preserves the distinction between
    goods and services by including both
    is commodity.
    In microeconomics, a
    ‘good’ is often used in this inclusive
    sense of the word (Milgate, 1987).

    Does the highlighted sentence mean
    that commodities consist of goods
    and services?

  2. From commodity:

    A commodity is a good for which there
    is demand, but which is supplied
    without qualitative differentiation
    across a market.1

    Does it say that a commodity is some
    special kind of good? Is this contrary to Part 1?


The term “good” in this sense is kind of a squishy term. A commodity is simply something that can be bought and sold. Futures contracts are commodities, as are financial instruments which may be abstract in the extreme. Often these are called products. The Gross Domestic Product includes goods and services. But goods are definitely distinct from services. Whoever said commodities are goods is probably restricting the definition to to material things, but that’s a distinction of convenience, not an absolute definition.

Source : Link , Question Author : Tim , Answer Author : Robusto

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