Economic system in which the means of production are publicly owned and economic activity is controlled by a central authority. Central planners determine the assortment of goods to be produced, allocate raw materials, fix quotas for each enterprise, and set prices. Most communist countries have had command economies; capitalist countries may also adopt such a system during national emergencies (e.g., wartime) in order to mobilize resources quickly. See also capitalism; communism.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on command economy, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up command economy? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.