What is 'Value'

The monetary, material or assessed worth of an asset, good or service. In accounting, value describes what something is worth in terms of something else. For example, the value of a loaf of bread might be $3; the $3 for the loaf of bread would represent the generally accepted worth of the bread.

In economics, value describes the merit of the benefits of ownership. The benefits of ownership include utility, the pleasure or satisfaction gained by consumption of a particular good or service; and power, the ability of a good or service to be exchanged for other goods, services or money.


Value is used to quantify the worth of something, and different types of value can be applied to explain various situations. For example, the value of a company can be described in terms of its intrinsic value, book value, actual cash value or market value.

Value can be perceived, as in the way consumers perceive the ability of a good or service to meet their needs and their willingness to pay for the good or service.

The value of an asset, good or service can change over time. For example, the price of a security fluctuates.

Value can also relate to how people feel about something, describing how something is regarded and its importance to the individual. For example, a memento may have very little monetary value but have significant sentimental value.

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