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Private Good


A private good is a product or service that is owned by an individual or organization, typically purchased and used by the person or entity that paid for it. This type of good tends to be limited in quantity and its use often prevents others from using the same good. Because of these characteristics, private goods are considered rivalrous and excludable in nature.


The phonetics of the keyword “Private Good” is /ˈpraɪ.vət ɡʊd/.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Excludability – One of the primary properties of a private good is excludability. This means that individuals can be prevented from using it. Individuals must pay for it before they can own or use it because it can be denied to those who do not.
  2. Rivalry in Consumption – Private goods are rival in nature. That is, if one person is consuming a private good, another person cannot consume the same good. For example, if one person eats a piece of pizza, no one else can eat that same piece.
  3. Ownership – Private goods are ownable, meaning one individual or entity has exclusive rights to the sale, use, and exchange of the good. This ownership allows them to control how the good is used and who uses it. This is a key part of the market economy.


Private goods are significant in the realm of business and finance due to their unique characteristics of excludability and rivalry. Their exclusivity means that the consumption of such goods by one party can prevent or limit others from consuming them as well. This gives rise to their market value and helps businesses profit from selling these goods. These goods also provide competition or rivalry because they are scarce and limited in supply, prompting businesses to improve their production and marketing strategies. Therefore, understanding the concept of private goods can help businesses identify potential revenue channels, planning business strategies effectively, and fostering healthy competition.


The main purpose of a Private Good in finance or business lies in its fundamental characteristics – it is exclusively owned and consumed by a specific entity or individual, and its use by one party prevents or diminishes its use by another. This exclusivity is intrinsic to generating profits for companies and establishing value in a market economy. Producers of private goods look to produce a product or service that can be sold to consumers, where the value (demand) outweighs the cost of production, resulting in a profit. By selling private goods, businesses can earn revenues and thus contribute to economic growth, while simultaneously satisfying consumer needs and wants.From another perspective, private goods also serve the function of facilitating trade and encouraging market competition. Since these goods are distinguished by being non-public and rival in consumption, businesses compete with each other to offer consumers better products, prices, or services. This competition drives innovation and improvement in the quality of goods or services offered. In turn, consumers benefit by having a range of options to choose from depending on their preferences and budgets. Hence, the concept of private goods is intrinsic to the dynamics of supply and demand in a market economy.


1. Automobiles: The automobile industry is a classic example of a private good. Once you purchase a car, it becomes your private property and it is up to you how you use it. Others don’t have the right to utilize it without your permission. Also, automobiles are rival goods as using one car decreases the availability of it for others.2. Personal Electronic Devices: Items like smartphones, laptops, or tablets are examples of private goods. When you buy an electronic device, you have exclusive rights over it, and its consumption by one person prevents its use by another. Its features, utilities, and longevity depend on the discretion of the owner.3. Property in Real Estate: When you purchase a piece of land or a house, it becomes a private good. You have all the rights to use it as per your convenience, and it can’t be used by others unless you allow them to do so. Here, this good is both exclusive and rivalrous. The consumption of this good by one person prevents its use by another, hence, decreasing its availability to others because the supply of land is limited.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a private good in finance and business terms?

A private good is a product that is consumed by one individual or entity and cannot be used or consumed by another. It is characterized by exclusivity and rivalry. Its usage by one party prevents or diminishes its availability to others.

Can you provide an example of a private good?

Yes, examples of private goods include clothes, food, personal vehicles, and homes. These goods are bought and used by individuals who then have exclusive rights to their use.

What differentiates private goods from public goods?

The main difference lies in the concepts of rivalry and excludability. Private goods are both rival and excludable, meaning they can only be used by the person who owns them and their usage decreases their availability to others. On the other hand, public goods, like parks or clean air, are non-rival and non-excludable, meaning one person’s use doesn’t decrease it’s availability to others, nor can one be restricted from enjoying them.

If a private good becomes available to the public, does it cease to be a private good?

If the good becomes publicly available and its usage does not diminish its availability for others, then yes, it could be reclassified as a public good.

What impacts does the consumption of private goods have on economy?

The consumption of private goods increases economic activity, as these goods have a price and their use and enjoyment are bought and sold in the market. This contributes to the overall economy in terms of sales and can stimulate production and job creation.

Who sets the price of a private good?

Usually, the price of a private good is set by the market based on supply and demand. The seller sets the price they wish to sell at, and buyers indicate the price they are willing to pay. The market equilibrium, where supply equals demand, establishes the price.

Why are private goods important in business?

Private goods are the core of a market-based economy where businesses thrive on the sale of these goods. They allow businesses to differentiate themselves, to provide unique offerings and compete with other businesses. This competition leads to innovation, economic growth, and consumer satisfaction.

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