I'm coming up with a model for how human relationships work, and trying to break down the fundamental areas of "value" that people exchange. One of them is simply related to real world survival, and includes work people do for each other, resources and finances they share, etc. Anything that has a tangible and immediate effect on the world.

This is very commonly referred to as "Goods and Services", but I want a more general term that is one clean word. For a period I was using the word "Work", but that doesn't really include resources and money.

  • Do you also want to include negative exchanges of value? Fines, slavery, theft, taxes, fraud and so on. Or does this only model free and positive exchanges?
    – Jason M
    Oct 24, 2014 at 22:42
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    If you glance through some of 3270 written instances of products including services I think you'll have to agree many of the writers are quite happy to take it for granted services can be a subset of products (even if they feel the need to explicitly spell that out to the reader, in the examples found by that search string). I've no doubt there would be even more contexts where the writer doesn't explicitly point it out, but still expects to be understood. May 22, 2015 at 16:21

3 Answers 3


According to Wikipedia quoting Marx:

Economic commodities comprise goods and services.2

2 Karl Marx, "Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy(Rough Draft of 1857-1857)" contained in the Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Volume 28 (International Publishers: New York, 1986) p. 80.)

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    I think, however, the average person would think of commodities in the financial sense of the word, rather than the economics sense (as with rent or trade). And in finance it refers to something much narrower— products or services which are largely undifferentiated by producer, like sugar, natural gas, or unskilled labor.
    – choster
    Oct 24, 2014 at 22:54

Output conveys the economic concept good and services produced by an individual, a company, a community or a stare. (from Wikipedia).

  • (economics) is the amount of goods and services produced.
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    But by definition, output is the amount of goods and services produced not the G&S themselves. My point is not to nitpick, but to point out that there really is no better single word which is why the phrase goods and services is so widely used.
    – Jim
    Oct 25, 2014 at 1:36

Resources -> Economic Resources -> Goods and Services

From Education Portal, What are Economic Resources? - Definition, Types & Examples (Shawn Grimsley)

Economic resources are the factors used in producing goods or providing services. In other words, they are the inputs that are used to create things or help you provide services. Economic resources can be divided into human resources, such as labor and management, and nonhuman resources, such as land, capital goods, financial resources, and technology.

From Wikipedia

A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced. Typically resources are materials, energy, services, staff, knowledge, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable.

Resources include raw material and produced goods. They include labor resources and the services provided by labor.

  • But by definition, resources are inputs used in producing goods and services, not the G&S themselves. My point is not to nitpick, but to point out that there really is no better single word which is why the phrase goods and services is so widely used.
    – Jim
    Oct 25, 2014 at 1:37
  • I agree half way with what you say. I recognized that as I wrote it. But goods and services can also be the resources that produce other goods and services. Which I tried to convey in the last sentence. It is almost impossible to find someone creating goods and services by using resources that are not already counted a goods and services. Even the trees used for raw lumber were produced as seedlings by nursery workers. And I didn't think it necessary to exclude resources in light of the cited reference on economic resources. Oct 25, 2014 at 1:51
  • Yes, I agree that one person's goods and services are another person's resources, but at whatever layer you are talking about, resources are the inputs and goods and services are the outputs.
    – Jim
    Oct 25, 2014 at 1:56
  • Yep, like the I am my own grandfather story, but it works here. Oct 25, 2014 at 2:04

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