Subjective Theory Of Value

Definition of 'Subjective Theory Of Value'


The idea that an object's value is not inherent, and is instead worth more to different people based on how much they desire or need the object. The Subjective Theory of Value places value on how scarce and useful an item is rather than basing the value of the object on how many resources and man hours went into creating it.

This theory was developed in the late 19th century by economists and thinkers of the time, including Carl Menger and Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk.

Investopedia explains 'Subjective Theory Of Value'


For example, let's say you have one wool coat and the weather is extremely cold outside, you will want that coat to wear and keep you from freezing. In a case like this, the wool coat might be worth more to you than a diamond necklace. If on the other hand, the temperature is warm, you will not want to use the coat, so your desire for - and amount you value - the coat wanes. In effect, the value of the coat is based on your desire and need for it, thus it is the value you placed on it - not any inherent value of the coat.


Filed Under: ,

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  2. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  3. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  4. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  5. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  6. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Trading Center