Introduction to Economic Systems

What you’ll learn to do: describe and differentiate between major different economic systems

In a society, the economic system answers three fundamental questions:

  1. What do we produce?
  2. How do we produce it?
  3. For whom do we produce it?

Practically speaking, this translates as: who owns the factors of production, and who decides what and how much to produce, and associated pricing. This module introduces the three major economic systems: command, market, and mixed.

We’ll also discuss the characteristics and management implications of each system, such as the role of government or a ruler/ruling party. This section also highlights factors that interfere with the conceptually ideal free market system. Although a free and competitive market is the economic ideal in terms of efficiency, it may not be the ideal in terms of representing a society’s values.


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