Economy Tricks – What Is Prohibited In A Command Economy? Check All That Apply

what is prohibited in a command economy? check all that apply.

Prohibited Activities in a Command Economy

The limitations in a centrally planned economy are vast and diverse. Many economic activities are curtailed or banned outright. These restrictions are imposed to ensure that state-owned enterprises dominate the economy. It limits the growth of private enterprises and individual initiatives. In a command economy, the state controls price regulation, production volume, product specifications, and distribution to meet set targets. Therefore, the government limits the activities that can interfere with these goals. The banned activities include market pricing, private ownership of enterprises, consumer choice, and free markets.

The prohibition on market pricing ensures that all goods and services are priced uniformly rather than being determined by supply and demand. Private ownership of businesses is restricted. This practice limits the potential to accumulate wealth. The state is the sole proprietor of resources, manufacturing plants, and other assets. Consumers have limited choices in buying specific goods and services. The state imposes strict guidelines for what can be produced and in what quantities. Additionally, free markets are not allowed to operate, given that government regulates and controls production and distribution.

Furthermore, in a command economy, bureaucratic shortcomings can hinder the smooth running of the economy. For instance, mismanagement and corruption may lead to inefficient production, underwhelming quality, and low productivity. As a result, people’s needs and desires may go unfulfilled, creating dissatisfied citizens.

In China, the Chinese Communist Party made clear that it would reassume and maintain “economic control” over the country. In 1958, Mao Tse-tung launched the ‘Great Leap Forward,” a massive economic and social experiment that led to an extensive economic transformation. However, the government’s imposition of strict production targets and price controls failed spectacularly. The lack of human rights, along with a regressive economic and social vision, led China to become one of the world’s poorest nations.

Private ownership of property? More like private ownership of headaches in a command economy.

Private Ownership of Property

In a Command Economy, private property rights are non-existent. The government controls all resources and individuals have no ownership of assets or property. Punishment is meted out for any attempt to acquire private property.

The central planning board decides what is good for the society as a whole and retains ownership of all retail commodities. Individuals have no autonomy over how they utilize their skills or expertise, and self-employment is forbidden.

The command economy operates on social welfare principles instead of profit-seeking motives. Benefits include free education, healthcare, and high employment rates with equal pay.

Vladimir Lenin was the first to test the communism ideology on a large scale. His policies catapulted the Soviet Union into worldwide experimentation with the ideology.

Free Market Exchange

Free Market Exchange is not a concept in a centrally planned economy. On the other hand, private enterprise and individual choice make it fundamental in an economic system.

  • Buyers and sellers exchange goods and services voluntarily through Free Market Exchange.
  • Supply and demand determine the prices.
  • In a Free Market Exchange, government intervention is minimal. This leads to better economy efficiency and innovation.
  • Businesses also become more competitive, making products of better quality and increased productivity.

Unlike command economies, one can decide on prices for goods and services in Free Market Exchange. This helps capital growth and investment, boosting economic growth.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that free market systems need good regulation to prevent monopolies or externalities from hampering growth. Trying to start a business in a command economy is like swimming upstream in molasses.

Independent Entrepreneurship

In a command economy, starting and running your own business without government involvement is strictly forbidden. No autonomous ventures are allowed – the state controls all commercial activities, and private individuals can’t invest their capital without official approval.

This environment stifles innovation, as there is no room for entrepreneurs to take risks. On top of that, governments dictate how much profit organizations can make, and how they should distribute wealth among employees.

In countries like North Korea, the government provides up to 80% of the budget via subsidies, making it almost impossible to become an independent entrepreneur. If you want to make money in a command economy, you better be prepared to face the consequences of defying the authorities.

Profit Motivation

The need to make money drives economic activity. This is in contrast to command economies, where making profits isn’t popular due to the centralization of power and control of resources. Instead, meeting society’s needs is prioritized.

To meet this goal, two ownership models are used: state ownership and community-based ownership. In state ownership, the government has control of production and services. Community-based ownership gives local communities control of consumption and production.

Profit motivation may be banned in command economies, but that doesn’t mean efficiency and innovation are impossible. For example, China has transitioned to a mixed economy, with both private and government-owned firms. Some of these companies can pursue profits without clashing with the central goals of the planned economy.

In Cuba, bartering between farmers became popular during food shortages, when free trade wasn’t allowed. The government tolerated this illegal activity, as it allowed food to circulate throughout society.

So, why ride a roller coaster when you can experience the adrenaline rush of unstable prices in a command economy?

Price Fluctuations

Price instability is a big problem in a controlled financial system. This means prices of goods and services can suddenly and unpredictably change, which can have a negative impact on the economy. Natural calamities, inflation, supply and demand shortages, and hoarding can cause these changes.

Price fluctuations can lead to fights between buyers, black marketing, not enough goods, and inadequate supplies. In addition, this can raise production costs, causing producers to make low profits, and lead to serious inefficiencies in businesses.

It’s important to control price instability in command economies, because it has a domino effect on macroeconomic indicators such as GDP growth rate, consumer price index (CPI), and Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decisions.

Therefore, regulatory bodies can fix rates, governments can tax products with volatile prices, and collecting market trends data can be useful tasks. To reduce risks caused by changes in trends, regularly monitor and use real-time data analysis tools.

What is Prohibited in a Command Economy? Check All That Apply

In a command economy, the government has centralized control over essential economic decisions. Such an economy is characterized by a set of distinct features that make it differ from other types of economies.

For instance, the following table highlights some of the critical characteristics of a command economy:

Characteristic Description
Control over means of production The government has complete control over resources and technological inputs
No private property The government owns all properties
Price controls The government sets prices of goods and services
Restricted consumer choices Consumers only have access to the goods and services the government provides

It is worth noting that some unique details add to the complexity of a command economy, such as the absence of free-market pressures affecting production or price determination.

In today’s global economy, the benefits and drawbacks of a command economy remain hotly debated. However, it’s essential to understand the characteristics of this type of economy to realize its constraints and advantages.

Centralized planning: because who needs the messiness of a free market when you can have a committee decide everything for you?

Centralized Planning

Centralized Economic Planning is the key of a Command Economy. The government holds control over all production and distribution, including prices and quotas. This system aims to remove competition and ensure resources are allocated as the state wants. A central agency is important for planning, deciding what to make, how much, and how to distribute it.

The central planning team employs tactics such as Five-Year Plans and State-owned Enterprises (SOEs). These plans set goals and targets for industries. SOEs carry out these orders. Prices are decided through central models, not market forces.

A main downside is Centralized Economic Planning may not match consumer needs, since production decisions ignore changes in consumer interests. Also, weather or politics can disrupt plans.

The Heritage Foundation believes around 104 countries use Centralized Economic Planning.

The government controlling resources is like a toddler controlling the TV remote – you won’t get to watch what you want.

Government Control Over Resources

In a command economy, all land and capital are owned by the state. This means the government has the power to decide what to produce, how much to produce, and at what price. Agencies manage production, distribution, and sales. Central planning boards also monitor economic activity, and allocate resources based on goals set by the government.

Market forces do not determine prices or quantities of goods in this system. Instead, decision-making power rests with central planners who prioritize social welfare goals over individual desires.

Pro Tip: Command economies may have the potential to address inequality and promote societal goals, but they can be inefficient due to bureaucratic issues and a lack of incentives for innovation.

Fixed Prices and Wages

In a command economy, the government sets prices and wages for goods, services, and labor. People cannot negotiate prices or wages between themselves.

This system provides economic equality, helps control inflation and allows for planning. Though, it can create shortages or surpluses of goods, and may hinder innovation and competition.

To fix this, some suggest adjusting prices based on supply-demand fluctuations. This way, central authorities can avoid shortages while still providing regulated price controls. Or, they can empower workers with incentives, proportional to their output, to increase productivity.

Fixed Pricing systems provide economic stability, but its pros must be weighed against its cons when developing policy. If having limited consumer choice is the price we pay for government control, I’m just glad I don’t have to pick between my favorite cereal and my favorite dictator.

Limited Consumer Choice

In a command economy, consumers face limited choices. This results in Limited Consumer Selection and is one of its key characteristics.

You can see the lack of variety in products and limited access to imports from other countries. The government decides what to produce and how much they should cost.

This can be frustrating for citizens who want to make their own decisions based on individual preferences. Also, it can result in a lower quality of life, if people cannot access essential goods or services due to limited supply.

In conclusion, Limited Consumer Choice is a major downside of command economies. Without access to diverse options, people may feel unsatisfied and miss out on crucial opportunities.

Dependence on State Distribution

Command economies rely on the state to distribute resources and manage goods and services. Examples of state-controlled industries in these economies are Russia’s oil and gas industry, China’s banking industry, and Cuba’s transportation.

This reliance on central planning for decision-making in various areas affirms the dependence on state distribution. Furthermore, there is a lack of consumer choice due to government regulation. To counteract this, specialists suggest liberalizing policies such as privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization. These strategies would create free market competition, leading to increased efficiency and more consumer choice.

Command economies may have some advantages, but in the end, they’re like the last slice of pizza at a party – nobody really wants it, but someone has to take it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Command Economies

In a command economy, the government controls all economic decisions. This type of economy comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Here is a breakdown of some of them.

Advantages Disadvantages
The government can distribute resources evenly, leading to less income inequality. There is little room for innovation and entrepreneurship, leading to a lack of economic growth.
There is less chance for exploitation, as prices and wages are regulated. Production may be inefficient and quality may be low due to lack of competition.
Centralized planning can prioritize public services and infrastructure. Individual freedoms may be limited, leading to a lack of personal choice and creativity.

It’s important to understand that every economy has its unique challenges. While these are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a command economy, they are not exhaustive. A balanced approach should be taken when considering economic systems.

Pro Tip: It’s important to look beyond the surface level advantages and disadvantages of any economic system and consider the long-term effects on society and individuals.

Think command economies sound great? Well, at least you won’t have to worry about making any decisions!


Command Economies offer unique advantages; such as, direct control over resources and the ability to put economic plans in motion quickly.

This system of centralization can result in better decision-making and a greater feeling of social wellbeing. In addition, the government’s power lets them focus on national goals, instead of individual ones.

These economies can also experience high levels of industrialization and fast growth in a short time. This is because they can target specific sectors necessary for growth. Countries with higher income equality often have these systems in place to ensure prosperity for all citizens.

Unfortunately, these economies have inefficiencies due to limited competition, lack of creativity and innovation, caused by strict regulations, and chronic shortages of goods. Consumer preferences don’t get addressed properly, due to central control, thus resulting in poor quality goods or service delivery. Plus, individuals don’t have the freedom to choose their occupation or association.

To make Command Economies more successful, market-based price signals can improve efficiency in resource allocation, while keeping government control. Governments should also allow individuals to express opinions freely, and pursue self-interest, as long as it does not conflict with national objectives. Furthermore, incentives, like scholarships for creativity, can help cultivate innovation in isolated development zones, without interfering with long-term plans.

Resource Allocation

The way resources are assigned in an economy can have a big effect on its functioning. We’ll go over how command economies allocate their resources, and their pros and cons.

Pros of Command Economies Resource Allocation Cons of Command Economies Resource Allocation
Central planning means even distribution No market forces mean inefficient allocation
More focus on public goods and services No incentives to innovate or make things better
Easily adaptable to special needs or crises Centralized decision-making can lead to corruption

In command economies, decisions are decided by one central leader, instead of the supply and demand. This lets them quickly adapt to sudden requirements or issues, unlike market economies.

In Mao’s China, they prioritized farming over industrialization, which caused wide famine due to poor resource assignment. This is an example of how badly resource allocation decisions can turn out in a command economy.

Command economies may appear to ensure equality, but in truth, it just equally spreads poverty.

Social Equality

A command economy can provide equal resources and opportunities. This is known as ‘Equitable Distribution in Society’. Resources are allocated for the benefit of society, not the market.

Everyone can access essential needs such as food, housing and healthcare. This leads to a higher quality of life and reduces the gap between rich and poor.

Education and employment opportunities are equally open to all. Everyone has the chance to develop skills and work in any profession.

Though, not everyone may have the same views on equitable distribution. It is also important for governments to create efficient policies related to resources and human development projects.

In summary, equitable distribution of services leads to improved living conditions, better job prospects and tolerance of different lifestyles. Communist economies may have stable prices, but they come with the downside of long queues and shortages.

Economic Stability

Command economies offer economic consistency, as the government controls production, prices and resource allocation. Plus, the state owns most resources, so there’s less risk of economic shocks. In difficult times, the government can spend more to stimulate demand and keep the economy stable.

Still, command economies can be unstable due to government interference or corruption. State-run companies may not be as efficient as private ones, leading to production and distribution inefficiencies. Prices and output may not reflect demand, causing surpluses or shortages.

Several countries have adopted command economies throughout history. China used socialist policies to build its economy, and Cuba remains one of the few still exploring this model. Command economies make for great dystopian novels, but terrible economic systems.


Command economies have drawbacks that need to be understood. If not addressed properly, these can harm a country’s economy.

  • Dependency: Government takes decisions related to resource allocation and distribution. This can lead to inefficiency and less competition.
  • Limited freedom: People have no control over what’s available in terms of goods and services. This restricts them from taking risks and being innovative.
  • Corruption: Centralization leads to political corruption which further stops economic growth and increases inequality.

Corruption can also stop development in certain areas.

Economists must evaluate both sides when comparing command and capitalist economies. Take action now before it’s too late. Command economies make innovation a luxury.

Limited Innovation

In a command economy, innovation is severely restricted.

  • The government manages what goods and services are created, and may not prioritize innovative items that don’t appear profitable initially.
  • Businesses might lack motivation to invest in research and development since they can’t benefit significantly.
  • Plus, since prices and wages are set by the government, there’s no way of competing and driving innovation.

Therefore, policymakers could introduce provisions that enable flexibility while still maintaining some control.

Command economies may seem good on paper, however, countries such as North Korea and Cuba show how it can lead to scarcity and underdevelopment.

Investopedia’s report “Command Economy Definition” pointed out that countries with this type of system tend to be inefficient and corrupt.

Overall, in a command economy quality is more like a suggestion than an actuality.

Quality Issues

Command economies have a big influence on multiple topics, including quality. Quality is an essential factor that impacts both consumers and producers in a command economy. Here are three key points about quality in command economies:

  • The absence of competition can cause the production of low-grade goods and services, as there is no pressure to enhance them.
  • Government control over prices may make producers cut costs and lower the quality of their products and services to remain profitable.
  • In a centrally planned economy, government officials or bureaucrats without expertise may make decisions about product standards and quality, resulting in substandard products.

It’s also crucial to remember that quality issues in command economies can affect not only domestic but also international sales. Deciders should take into account these factors when examining the effects of command economic policies on industry and trade.

For businesses already in or intending to enter into markets with command economic policies, it is important to remain informed about the rules and regulations enforced by governments. Ignoring them can lead to loss of market share and revenue.

If you want to witness a lack of incentives, just observe a government-run economy trying to sell sand in the desert.

Lack of Incentives

The lack of motivation in command economies can have a bad effect on their success and growth. Individuals don’t work hard or do their best because there is no reward or recognition system. In such economies, the state makes all the rules and regulations, making it easy for people to be lazy as they don’t feel valued.

Without incentives or bonuses, innovation and creativity may be blocked. This can mean no progress in technology or new ideas. This creates a stagnant environment rather than one of growth.

It’s not just individuals that suffer. Businesses and organizations within the economy can too. Government control and ownership over all industries can cause reduced efficiency and productivity. Prices are not determined by market forces like supply and demand, reducing opportunities for making money.

North Korea is the most well-known command economy today. It has been criticised for not giving its citizens a good standard of living due to inefficient government-controlled industries. History tells us command economies can bring about great inventions, but under Stalin, it led to mass famine.

Historical Examples of Command Economies

Historical Examples of Command Economies can shed light on the impact of government intervention in market economies. Let’s take a look at some notable examples:

Example Country Duration Outcome
Soviet Union Russia 1917-1991 Economic stagnation and collapse
China China 1949-present Initial growth followed by continued government control and censorship
Cuba Cuba 1960-present Low standard of living and limited economic growth

While Command Economies have been successful in achieving certain goals, such as rapid industrialization in the Soviet Union, they have also caused significant economic and social problems. For example, the strict government control in Cuba has led to limited access to goods and services, while the censorship in China has hindered technological advancement.

It is important to strike a balance between government intervention and individual freedom in market economies. To achieve this, policymakers could prioritize investment in education and infrastructure, create incentives for entrepreneurship, and ensure fair competition in the marketplace. By doing so, individuals can be empowered to make their own economic decisions, leading to greater innovation and prosperity.

Back in the Soviet Union, the only thing they planned for more than their economy was the weather.

Soviet Union

The former Soviet Union was a communist state that used a planned economy. The government set prices, production levels and controlled the distribution of goods and services. This system removed individual incentives and focused on communal goals to ensure access to necessities.

In 1928, the Soviet government launched its first five-year plan. It focused on industrialization, such as steel and energy production. By the 1950s, the country had become self-sufficient in industry. However, the rigid planning and bureaucracy couldn’t keep up with market changes.

Attempts were made in the 1980s to restructure the economy under Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika reforms. But, it was too late. The country dissolved into independent states.

A Cornell University study found that several factors caused the failure of the economy. There was inadequate motivation for innovation and the lack of democratic processes with private property rights led to bad policy decisions.

Fun Fact: North Korea only abandoned Stalinist-style policies in 1991!


The Chinese economic system has undergone drastic changes. Now, it’s a mix of market and command systems. The government has total control over production and distribution with state-owned companies. This model brought major economic growth. But, it also had its flaws; like inefficiencies and no incentives for innovation. Even so, it helped build essential infrastructure for industrial growth.

It’s not a full command economy. Private companies exist alongside government ones. The government sets policies and regulations. Businesses handle market changes and investments. That’s why China is one of the world’s major economies.

Infrastructure development is a big part of China’s success. Many industries benefit from energy, roads, transport, and more. To improve, China can relax foreign investment rules and make policies that help businesses. Creating incentives for sustainable businesses can bring more responsibility and innovation.

North Korea

The renowned North Korea, with its strong authoritarian government and closed borders, is the quintessential example of a command economy. This system has the state own all means of production and control pricing, allocation and distribution. Unlike market-based economies, where consumer demand sets prices and goods produced, top-down decision making by bureaucrats does it in North Korea.

This often leads to shortages or surpluses, as the needs of the people are not efficiently met. Regulations inhibit innovation and progress, making the country lag behind globally.

Since 1953, the two Koreas have shared similar resources, yet there’s an immense difference in their economic acceleration. One example of the struggle of these controlled systems is the severe famine in 1995-98, caused by mismanagement and unfavorable conditions, leading to millions of deaths.

Cuba has failed miserably in its command economy, but its citizens have become experts in creating a meal out of just one potato.


The Caribbean Island nation is famous for its revolutionary past. It has a command economy system, where the government owns and runs most industries – including healthcare and education. This ensures economic equity among citizens. Tourism brings in foreign currency, a vital source of revenue.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba needed to become self-sufficient. They had to ration food, as not enough was invested in agriculture. Now, there is a bit of private enterprise, but the government is cautious about large businesses.

Cuba’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world. State-funded medical training programs offer free help to other countries in pandemics and natural disasters.

Don’t miss understanding Cuba’s journey towards socialism, while keeping its cultural identity. This is a unique example of a command economy. Even in this system, creative people find ways to get extra money.

In Conclusion: The Extent of Prohibited Activities in Command Economies

Command economies are under strict government regulations and control. Certain activities are banned or restricted to make sure resources are distributed fairly. This can include free-market trade, private property ownership, entrepreneurship and freedom of speech, assembly and press. Also, monopolistic practices and price gouging are not allowed.

It looks limiting, but it is for a greater cause of equality and fairness. There has been criticism that command economies do not promote long-term growth. To address this, policies should be implemented to encourage innovation and control the market. Better transparency in decisions can help reduce corruption and bureaucracy. That way, command economies can sustain growth while staying true to their principles.

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