- The literal sense of 'not capable of being touched' is not the general sense in which this term is used in economic analyses. These effects, which are often unfortunately labelled 'intangible costs' in some cost-effectiveness analyses, are usually undesired states or consequences of decisions such as pain, disutility, disappointment, etc. that have it in common that they are not quantified or measured. It is not a satisfactory term since few, if any, consequences are truly intangible in this sense. There are, in fact, many quantifying measures of pain, disutility, etc. Nor are they ' costs ' in the economic sense of the term.