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market economy

Definition of Market Economy

(noun) An economic system in which most goods and services are voluntarily produced, distributed, and exchanged by the forces of price, supply, and demand.

Market Economy Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: mar·ket e·con·o·my

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /mAHR-kuht i-kAHn-uh-mee/
  • British English – /mAHk-it i-kOn-uh-mee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈmɑrkət ɪˈkɑnəmi/
  • British English – /ˈmɑːkɪt i(ː)ˈkɒnəmi/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: market economies
  • The opposite of a market economy is a command economy and the combination of the two is a mixed economy.
  • Also called:
    • capitalist economy
    • free enterprise
    • laissez-faire economy
    • private enterprise

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Cite the Definition of Market Economy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “market economy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 4, 2020 (http://sociologydictionary.org/market-economy/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

market economy. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/market-economy/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “market economy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 4, 2020. http://sociologydictionary.org/market-economy/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“market economy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 4 Jun. 2020. <http://sociologydictionary.org/market-economy/>.