Online Encyclopedia

CONSUMPTION (Lat. consumere)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 23 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONSUMPTION (Lat. consumere), literally, the act of consuming or destroying. Thus the word is popularly applied to phthisis, a " wasting away " of the lungs due to tuberculosis (q.v.). In economics the word has a special significance as a technical term. It has been defined as the destruction of utilities, and thus opposed to " production," which is the creation of utilities, a utility in this connexion being anything which satisfies a desire or serves a purpose. Consumption may be either productive or unproductive; productive where it is a means directly or indirectly to the satisfaction of any economic want, unproductive when it is devoted to pleasures or luxuries. Its place in the science of economics, and its close relation with production, are treated of in every text-book, but special reference may be made to W. Roscher, Nationalokonomie, 1883, and G. Schonberg, Handbuch d. polit. Okonomie, 189o-1891.
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