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Economic System And Market Economy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter defines an economic system as an integral structure of a society characterized by a set of institutions established to enable it to accomplish the twin tasks of allocation of resources at its disposal, and distribution of the goods and services thus produced among its citizens. The existence of the institution of government implies two possibilities with regard to ownership of property: state ownership, and communal ownership. The postulate of self-interest is criticized when the disenchantment is with the prevailing objective conditions, including a lack of enforcement of property rights. In the analysis, selfishness amounts to excesses committed in the name of self-interest that is pursued at the expense of others. The ambit of property rights is much broader than mere property ownership, reaching far beyond that to encompass all goods and services. In a market economy, prices serve as signals to both producers and consumers.

Keywords: communal ownership; economic system; market economy; property rights; state ownership

10.1163/ej.9789004179370.i-470.10
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