economic system

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economic system

a mechanism for tackling the twin problems of SCARCITY and CHOICE. Because economic resources are limited relative to society's demand for goods and services, some means of allocating resources between alternative ends is required. In the modem world, three basic allocative mechanisms perform this function: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ECONOMY, in which resources are allocated through markets; CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMY, in which resources are all allocated by the state; MIXED ECONOMY, in which resources are allocated both by the market and by the state. See NATIONALIZATION, PRIVATIZATION.