Characteristics Of Utility
The concept of utility has some certain characteristics. They may be of the following nature.
i) Different uses yield different utilities: When a good can be used in more than one way, its different uses will yield different amount of utilities. A piece of land situated near a city will have great amount of utility for building purposes, rather than agricultural purposes. A newspaper has a great utility for an educated person rather than an illiterate person.
ii) Utility may change with change in ownership: A thing possessed by one person may have very little or no utility for him but for another person the same good can have a large amount of it. A fountain pen has no utility to an illiterate person but to a student it has a great utility. Likewise, a stick to a blind man has a lot of utility," but to a man having normal eyes it has no utility.
iii) Utility and a human desire go side by side: In order to have utility a thing must be able to satisfy some want. Ornaments have utility, simply because women are very fond of them. If they give up their fancy for ornaments, they would become suddenly useless and would have no utility.
iv) Utility may change with the change in place: There are plenty of herbs in the forests having no utility or very little of it. But when they are brought to cities or towns in order to use them in preparing medicines, they come to have a good deal of utility.
v) Utility may change with time: Woollen clothes have great utility during winter, but very little during summer. Similarly, ice has a great utility during summer, but very little during winter. Likewise, when clay is changed into pots and cloth is changed into clothes, they have much greater utility than before.
vi) Utility may change with the change in ihe form of an article: A change in the form of an article may also change its utility. When a log of wood is changed into a bat or hockey etc. it has much more utility than as a mere log of wood.
vii) Utility may increase with the growth of knowledge: An increase in knowledge may lead to new discoveries and inventions, which increase the use of an article in a number of ways and thus its utility may considerably increase. The primitive man had a very little utility in iron. But, the man of today has a great utility of it, simply because he has learnt to use it in various ways.