What are the types of economic systems?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Economists generally recognize three distinct types of economic system.  These are 1) command economies; 2) market economies and 3) traditional economies.  Each of these kinds of economies answers the three basic economic questions (What to produce, how to produce it, for whom to produce it) in different ways.

In a command economy, the government decides the answers to the three basic questions.  It decides what will be made, how they will be made, and who will get them.  Recently, pure command economies have usually been communist countries.  Good examples today would be North Korea and China.

In a market economy, consumers decide the answers to the three questions.  They do this by their choices of what to buy.  No one tells companies what to make -- they make whatever they think will sell.  If they choose wrong, they go out of business.  Most developed economies today are predominantly market economies.  The US, Japan and Germany are all market economies.

In a traditional economy, the three questions get answered by referring to tradition -- you make what has always been made, in the way it has always been made, etc.  There aren't really any countries whose whole economies are traditional.  The closest you could get to this would be Afghanistan or Bhutan -- places where there is little connection to the global economy.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I am going to presume that there is more to this question than is featured here.  I would suggest that outside of posting more of the question, it is always good to examine the role of government intervention in each type of economic system.  The lesser role of government, or a classically liberal form of government's relationship to economic orders, can be contrasted with a more state controlled economy, or one that is prone to government intervention.  I believe that the role of government is the primary distinction between each type of economic system and the examples can be illuminated to a greater extent in examining the role of government in such a system.

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ninawilliams's profile pic

ninawilliams | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

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There are three major types of economic system. They are:

1_Command economy

2_Market economy

3_Mixed economy

traditional economy is the forth one but it is not very important type of economy.

patelmilia98's profile pic

patelmilia98 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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actually there are 4 tyoes of economic systems:

1.Traditional Economy

2.Market Economy

3.Command Economy

4.Mixed Economy







parsenic's profile pic

parsenic | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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guys there are actually 4 main types

1. command

2. mixed

3. market

4. traditional

you guys were only saying 3


yamaustine's profile pic

yamaustine | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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The Major type of economic system are basicially four

1. market economy

2. command economy

3. Traditional economy

4. mixed economy

bisheka's profile pic

bisheka | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

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actually an economic system is the way government choose to solve  the 3 economic problems:-

1.what to produce?(ex. weapons or more food to be produced)

2. how to produce?(ex.whether use labour intensive/capital intensive production)

3.whom to produce?(ex more goods  for youth /old people)

there  are 3 ways in which the 3problems could be solved

1.free/market economy


3.mixed economy(combination of both free market & command economy)

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fateenghani | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

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There are 4 types of economic systems. First, traditional, based on a barter economy. Production, exchange and distribution are based on customs and traditions. Second, free market economy. Third, command economy. Fourth, mixed economy. It's described by a combination of elements of pure capitalism and command economy (private and public enterprise).

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minaxi30 | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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There are three types of economics systems

1. Capitailist - This system works under private authority and its aim is to earn maximum profit. This is also known as market economy.Prices here are fixed by market forces.

2. Socialist- This system is governed by one central authority and its aim is social welfare. This is also termed as centrally planned economy. Prices here are fixed by central authority.

3. Mixed- This is a combination of capitailist and socialist system. Some work/ economic activities are governed by capitailist and some by socialist. 

E.g India works on Mixed system.


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zainablizzie | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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basically,there are 3 main types of econmic systems:-

a) Command economy/centrally planned economy.

b) Free market economy.

c) Mixed economy

a command economy is an economy where government plays the important role. Eg, prices are fixed by the government.

a market economy is an economy where private individuals take their own decisions with less government intervation.Eg,prices are fixed by the forces of market-demand and supply.

a mixed economy is a combination of both the economies-both the government as well as the private individuals take decisions. Eg,prices are fixed by the forces of market-demand and supply as well as the government..

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thisuserhasmadeabadusername | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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1) Traditional Economies---Self-sufficient econmic system--mostly bartering

2) Free Enterprise--no gov't control

3) Command Economy---total gov't control

4) Mixed Economy---some gov't regulation

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nikasho0100 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Free market economy also known as free enterprise/capitalist economy

Command economy also known as planned/centrally planned/communist economy

Mixed economy (combination of the above mentioned)

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jssy11 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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There are 5 Economic systems:

1. Command Economy (Centralized economy)

2. Market Socialism (Decentralized economy)

3. Mixed Economy

4. Advanced Capitalist Market

5. Pure Market (Laissez faire; Let it be policy; Non-governmental intervention)

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sapnavaid | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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there are three types of economic systems:

Market economy- it is that type of economy in which decisions are taken on the basis of  market forces(demand & supply).producers are free to produce. they will produce the product which is high in demand and will give maximum profit. and consumers are free to consume those goods and services which gives them maximum satisfaction.Market economy is also known as free economy i.e. without the intervention of government.

Centrally planned economy-  centrally planned economy is that type of economy which is under the control of government.it talks about the welfare of society.those goods and services are produced which are goodfor society.for ex.- eco friendly products.

Mixed economy- it is that type of economic system which exhibits the features of both market and centrally planned economy.here production takes place  in accordance to maximise the profit but along with this welfare of society is also considered.

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avasbruce | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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The main ones are command economy (communism) and free markets like what you have in the USA. But in reality, there are no 100% free markets and no 100% communist states. There is a mixture of the two. In China, for example, capitalism is prevalent and in the USA there are many rules and regulations which make it a bit like a communist state in certain aspects.

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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Traditional economy: When people made trade through barter system. 

Planned economy: When public sector plays a important role in the economy. (socialist countries like..china.

Market economy:  When private sector involvement is more than the public sector. capitalist countries like USA.

Mixed economy: When there is a right balance between the private and the public sectors. eg. India. where public sector acts according to the welfare of the society.

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user2715870 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

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Scarcity is the fundamental challenge confronting all individuals and nations. We all face limitations... so we all have to make choices. We can't always get what we want. How we deal with these limitations—that is, how we prioritize and allocate our limited income, time, and resources—is the basic economic challenge that has confronted individuals and nations throughout history.

A traditional economic system is—here's a shocker—shaped by tradition. The work that people do, the goods and services they provide, how they use and exchange resources… all tend to follow long-established patterns. These economic systems are not very dynamic—things don’t change very much. Standards of living are static; individuals don’t enjoy much financial or occupational mobility. But economic behaviors and relationships are predictable. You know what you are supposed to do, who you trade with, and what to expect from others.

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franca-2009 | eNotes Newbie

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There are 3 main Economic Systems namely,

1. Command/Planned/Communist economy

2. Market/Free Market economy, and 

3. Mixed Economy.

However, another system of economy has emerged and which is commonly used in Islamic Countries. It is known as Islamic Economy.

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nishu2766 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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The world’s economic systems fall into one of four main categories: traditional economy, market economy, command economy and mixed economy;

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arrellbelle | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Different types of economic systems include:

  • Traditional Economy System: A very clear-cut type of economic system. It is not dynamic and relies entirely upon the traditions of the people and the services they provide.
  • Planned Economy System: The government is the one that controls the economy. They are the ones that decided what products go in and out of their area of control.
  • Market Economies: The control is entirely upon the individuals themselves. They get to decide the flow of distribution for their goods.
  • Mixed Economic System: A combination of market and planned economies. Where the players are both the individuals and government.
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jjrichardson | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Some examples of economic systems include: feudalism, pure socialism, bureaucratic socialism, fascism and pure communism.

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nikasho0100 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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There are 3 main types of economic systems.

One is planned economy which is also known as centrally planned/commmand & collectivist economy. It is an economy where the government makes the crucial decisions, the factors of production are owned by the government and resources are all allocated by directives.

Second is Market economy also known as free enterprise economy.This is an economy where consumers determine what is produced, resources are allocated by the price mechanism(demand & Supply) also the factors of production.

The last is Mixed economy which is a combination of a planned and market economy.where there are interactions of government and market forces on  prices. It is where the factors of production are partly owned by the government and private indiiduals,