What is an Economic System?Any system that involves the mechanism for production, distribution, and exchange of goods apart from consumption of the goods and services within the different entities can be classified as an Economic System. The various kinds of economic systems and their classifications broadly follow the methods by which means of ownership are established. Thus, the mode of ownership of capital leads to the different kinds of economic systems in vogue.Types of Economic systemsThe different kinds of economic systems are Market Economy, Planned Economy, Centrally Planned Economy, Socialist, and Communist Economies. All these are characterized by the ownership of the economics resources and the allocation of the same.For instance, in a Capitalist Economy, the capital is privately owned and distributed with governmental oversight and regulation. On the other hand, in a Communist Economy, the state itself takes on the task of allocation of resources according to the needs of the different sectors. In a mixed economy, the state looks after some sectors whereas it frees up the other sectors for private participation.Apart from this, the extent of governmental or state intervention determines the kinds of economic systems that are classified accordingly. In many ways, each of these systems has their own pros and cons when it comes to the welfare of the citizens.Capitalist SystemThis is the predominant economic system in the world today. In this system, the capital is privately owned and distributed. The distribution mechanism is left to the market to allocate the resources with the emphasis being on efficient allocation of capital. Going by the “Invisible Hand” of Adam Smith that guides the allocation of resources, it is deemed that the market does a good job of determining which sectors receive the capital and how much.Thus, perfect knowledge and perfect competition are assumed to be given and the market mechanism is taken to determine the beneficiaries and the recipients. In the modern context, this kind of system has come to be associated with the laissez faire mode of capitalism where the state has minimal responsibility and is seen as a “hands off” player rather than being interventionist.Of course, the state is expected to have regulatory mechanisms in place and ensure that the market corrections are supervised and the state steps in whenever there is a crisis of liquidity or other market failures.As we are currently witnessing the different kinds of state interventions arising out of the credit crunch, it becomes apparent that this kind of economic system may not be the ideal one as was being propounded over the last few decades.In this economic system, the four kinds of land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship are the types of production that make up the mechanism for production and distribution of resources.The capitalist system of production and distribution has proved to be highly successful in western countries and it has spawned several clones in the east as well.
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