Free Market

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What is a 'Free Market'

A free market is a market economy based on supply and demand with little or no government control. A completely free market is an idealized form of a market economy where buyers and sellers are allowed to transact freely (i.e. buy/sell/trade) based on a mutual agreement on price without state intervention in the form of taxes, subsidies or regulation.

In financial markets, free market stocks are securities that are widely traded and whose prices are not affected by availability.

In foreign-exchange markets, it is a market where exchange rates are not pegged (by government) and thus rise and fall freely though supply and demand for currency.

BREAKING DOWN 'Free Market'

In simple terms, a free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is a voluntary agreement between two parties who trade in the form of goods and services. In reality, this is the extent to which a free market exists since there will always be government intervention in the form of taxes, price controls and restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market. Just like supply-side economics, free market is a term used to describe a political or ideological viewpoint on policy and is not a field within economics.

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