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Comparison of Free, Command, and Mixed Economies

Indicators Free Market Command Mixed
Basic economic questions

What, How, and for whom to produce goods

Consumers and producers determine basic questions Government decides basic economic questions Individuals, businesses, and government together answer economic questions
Ownership of resources Resources are privately owned  Resources are owned by government Government and individuals own resources 
Supply and demand Price determines allocation of resources Government determines allocation of resources Price determines allocation of resources but government has greater role in controlling allocation

Most economies today are mixed economies.

This page last updated on 06/07/00.

Dr. Cynthia Sparks is the Supervisor of Social Studies for Chesapeake Public Schools.  She is also an Adjunct Faculty member for the University of Virginia, Troy State University, and Old Dominion University.