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PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT: The acquisition of financial assets (which includes stock, bonds, deposits, and currencies) from one country in another country. In contrast to foreign direct investment, which is the acquisition of controlling interest in foreign firms and businesses, portfolio investment is foreign investment into the stock markets. Most economists consider foreign direct investment more useful than portfolio investment since this last one is generally regarded as temporal and can leave the foreign country at the first sign of trouble.

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SERVICE:

Activities that provide direct satisfaction of wants and needs without the production of tangible products or goods. Like the related term good, a service is produced using society's resources and represents a fundamental aspect of the economy. Limited resources are used to produce the services that satisfy unlimited wants and needs in an ongoing effort to address the problem of scarcity.
While often delegated to second-class citizenship when attention turns to production, intangible services are as important to the modern economy as tangible goods. Services account for about half of all production for modern economies.

A short list of commonly consumed services, such as health care, education, entertainment, and information illustrates this point. In each case, satisfaction is provided directly to a consumer. For example, Dr. Dowrimple T. Bedside advises patients on proper dietary techniques for losing weight. Alicia Hyfield, a dedicated college student, receives oodles of enlightenment each time she attends class. Thousands of Shady Valley spectators are regularly thrilled by the heroics of Harold "Hair Doo" Dueterman, baseball superstar. Winston Smythe Kennsington III, a wealthy investor, gains business insight by diligently watching the financial news channels on cable television.

In none of these examples is satisfaction provided by the consumption of a tangible, physical product. An intangible service is doing the satisfying.

Goods and Services

Intangible services should be contrasted with a related concept, tangible goods. Goods are physical items used to provide satisfaction of wants and needs. In that wants and needs are satisfied with either tangible goods or intangible services, the phrase goods and services is commonly used to comprehensively capture all production in the economy. Terms like gross domestic product can be defined using the phrase the "...market value of all goods and services."

Resource Services

While the term services is commonly aimed at activities that directly satisfy human wants and needs (such as information, health care, and education), it is also used in reference to resource services, or the services of the factors of production. For example, when producers are said to buy labor, they are not actually buying labor, that is people. Instead, they are buying, or better yet hiring, the services of labor.

This distinction is also important for capital resources. Although it is quite legal to buy capital, the analysis of production is primarily concerned with the services of capital. In fact, two different (but related) capital markets exist. One is for capital goods. The other is for capital services. It is best to distinguish between the physical capital and the productive services of this capital.

Much the same can be said for land. The physical item of land is distinct from the services of land services used for production.

<= SELLERS' MARKETSERVICES, CONSUMPTION =>


Recommended Citation:

SERVICE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2019. [Accessed: September 20, 2019].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | good | economic good | economic resource | scarce good | scarce resource |


Or For A Little Background...

     | scarcity | wants | needs | production | economic analysis | satisfaction |


And For Further Study...

     | allocation | three questions of allocation | seven economic rules | consumer sovereignty | ownership and control | production possibilities | quantity |


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