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Value, theories of

There have been three broad approaches to the analysis of value in use or exchange in economic theory:

(a) general use theories: theories which were based on the assumption that the value of a commodity was related to the use to which it could be put,

(b) labour theory: value is interpreted as reflecting the cost of production measured in terms of labour time absorbed, and

(c) marginal utility theory: the utility of the final small increment in demand and supply determines the value of commodities in exchange.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.