In ordinary usage, price is the quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for goods or services.
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M - R
- Economies are enormous groups of people engaged in a multitude of interdependent activities. What prevents decentralized decision making from degenerating into chaos? What coordinates the actions of the millions of people with their varying abilities and desires? What ensures that what needs to be done is in fact done? The answer, in a word, is prices. If an invisible hand guides market economies, as Adam Smith famously suggested, then the price system is the baton that the invisible hand uses to conduct the economic orchestra.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Economics (6th ed., 2012), Ch. 4. p. 83; The Market Forces of Supply and Demand
- [I]n all cases, for all commodities that serve to provide for the tangible or intangible needs of the consumer, it is in the consumer's best interest that labor and trade remain free, because the freedom of labor and of trade have as their necessary and permanent result the maximum reduction of price.
- We need to recognise that the entire information sector—from music to newspapers to telecoms to internet to semiconductors and anything in-between—has become subject to a gigantic market failure in slow motion. A market failure exists when market prices cannot reach a self-sustaining equilibrium. The market failure of the entire information sector is one of the fundamental trends of our time, with far-reaching long-term effects, and it is happening right in front of our eyes.
S - Z
- Prices play a crucial role in determining how much of each resource gets used where and how the resulting products get transferred to millions of people. Yet this role is seldom understood by the public and it is often disregarded entirely by politicians.
- Nothing makes us understand the many roles of electricity in our lives like a power failure. Similarly, nothing shows more vividly the role and importance of price fluctuations in a market economy than the absence of such price fluctuations when the market is controlled.
- Because economic resources are not only scarce but have alternative uses, the efficient use of these resources requires both consumers and producers to make trade-offs and substitutions. Prices provide the incentives for doing so. When the price of oranges goes up, some consumers switch to tangerines. But not everyone stops eating oranges when they become more pricey. Some people continue to eat the same number of oranges they always ate, some cut back a little, some cut back a lot, and others forget about oranges completely and go on to some other fruit. Note that what is happening here is not just substitution— it is incremental substitution.
- There is a price which is too great to pay for peace, and that price can be put in one word. One cannot pay the price of self-respect.