Command Economy

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DEFINITION of 'Command Economy'

A system where the government, rather than the free market, determines what goods should be produced, how much should be produced and the price at which the goods will be offered for sale. The command economy is a key feature of any communist society. China, Cuba, North Korea and the former Soviet Union are examples of countries that have command economies.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Command Economy'

Also known as a planned economy, command economies are unable to efficiently allocate goods because of the knowledge problem - the central planner's inability to discern how much of a good should be produced. Shortages and surpluses are a common consequence of command economies. A free-market price system, on the other hand, signals to producers what they should be creating and in what quantities, resulting in a much more efficient allocation of goods.

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