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command economy

  An economy in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state and in which central planning prevails. The term is used to distinguish economies such as those found until recently in eastern Europe from either capitalism or a mixed economy. The dismantling of command economies in eastern Europe in the early 1990s reflected their inability to produce goods in the quantities people had come to expect, as a result of difficulties of coordination and the lack of efficiency incentives. However, the economies which replaced them have their own imperfections, including large-scale criminalization, reflecting the difficulty of creating market-regulated economies in former socialist states (cf. socialism). (DMS)  



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