Glossary Terms:

Deregulation and the California Utilities

Glossary terms from:


Attempts by two or more individuals or organizations to acquire the same goods, services, or productive and financial resources. Consumers compete with other consumers for goods and services. Producers compete with other producers for sales to consumers.


People who use goods and services to satisfy their personal needs and not for resale or in the production of other goods and services.


Spending by households on goods and services. The process of buying and using goods and services.


The quantity of a good or service that buyers are willing and able to buy at all possible prices during a period of time.

Economic Systems

The institutional framework of formal and informal rules that a society uses to determine what to produce, how to produce and how to distribute goods and services.


The study of how people, firms and societies choose to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses.


Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.


Accommodation in houses, apartments, etc.


Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.

Law of Supply

As the price of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale during a certain period of time period rises (or falls), the quantity of that good or service supplied rises (or falls).


Places, institutions or technological arrangements where or by means of which goods or services are exchanged. Also, the set of all sale and purchase transactions that affect the price of some good or service.


A market structure in which there is a single supplier of a good or service. Also, a firm that is the single supplier of a good or service for which there are no close substitutes; also known as a monopolist.


The amount of money that people pay when they buy a good or service; the amount they receive when they sell a good or service.

Price Ceiling

A legally established maximum price that may be charged for a good or service.


A good or service that can be used to satisfy a want.


Economic regulation is the prescription of price and output for a specific industry, often a natural monopoly. Social regulation is the prescription of health, safety, performance, environmental, output and job standards across several industries.


The condition that exists because human wants exceed the capacity of available resources to satisfy those wants; also a situation in which a resource has more than one valuable use. The problem of scarcity faces all individuals and organizations, including firms and government agencies.


The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time. Normally, as the price of a good or service rises (or falls), the quantity supplied of the good or service rises (or falls).


An abstract measure of the satisfaction consumers derive from consuming goods and services.