The term utility value refers to, among others, in the labor theory of value the social or individual usefulness of a commodity as opposed to its exchange value. The use value of a commodity may differ from individual to individual, because the characteristic of an object or material to serve the satisfaction of needs is different.
The value in use, for example, a chair is that you can sit on it, or the use value of a table that you can park on it things. An example that shows the dependence of the utility value of the individual, is the cigarette: The use value of a cigarette is different high for a person who smokes, and for one that does not smoke.
Basically, not only goods but also other things can also have a practical value, such as air. Work products that are produced in a family, such as lunch, have a use value but no exchange value. Because they are not exchanged on markets, are therefore no goods.
The use value of a commodity is closely tied to the specific physical properties of the utility object and depends heavily on the individual needs of people from. Since people always have needs, there is also always use values to satisfy these needs. The use values themselves but may be subject to historical change. In contrast to the exchange value of use-values require no market.
In a market economy is that for the buyer of a commodity, the use value of their availability and usefulness of results. For the seller of a commodity A whose exchange value is at the center, ie, in how many other goods B, C or D, which have a practical value for the seller of the product A, the commodity A can be exchanged. Exactly the opposite for the seller of the goods B, C or D, which are interested in the exchange values of their respective goods, but the use value of the commodity A.
The exchange value of a commodity depends quantitatively on the utility value; This is known as value paradox. This is to be expressed, for example, bread a high utility value but (often) a low ( exchange ) value, while one can argue about the use value of diamond necklaces, their exchange value, however, is usually very high. Free software made available ( freeware ) has no exchange value, but may have a very high use value.
Only goods that have a value in use can also have an exchange value. The value in use is a prerequisite for the exchange value. In this sense, utility values are carriers of exchange values . If the exchange value of a commodity for potential buyers for whatever reason always too high, can not take claim for themselves the practical value.
Demarcation to utility theory
In the neoclassical theory is not spoken by the utility value; the value is often derived a benefit theory. The utility theory comes from the assumption that all goods have a use ( which may differ from individual to individual ), who is also measurable.
" Zwieschlächtigkeit " of goods
The fact that both goods have a use - and exchange value ( value), also called double character of the goods. Karl Marx called the product " a Zwieschlächtiges, use value and exchange value."
Marx points with a reference to Aristotle in further entanglement towards that arises from the exchange relationship: his goods [ the owner of the goods ] has for him no immediate use value. Otherwise, he did not lead them to market. It has use-value for others. For him, it has directly only the use value to be bearers of exchange value and as a medium of exchange.
Marx criticized David Ricardo that he 'll be dead the utility value as a simple requirement. In contrast, the use-value is to be considered anywhere in economic analysis, where he modifies the economic shape determination. (see Rodolsky )