Capitalism Definition

Capitalism is an economic system in which the economy which consists of factors such as businesses, resources, capital goods, and labor, etc. is owned by private entities, and the income of these entities is derived by the level of production of these factors. Because of the private hands, these entities can be operated efficiently and maximize their production activity also.



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Examples of Capitalism

There are many economies and countries in the world which are capitalist. Below are some examples of capitalist economies –

  • Singapore
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates

Pillars of Capitalism-

  • Private Property – People can own private properties such as lands, houses, etc. in the capitalized economy.
  • Self-Interest – The main motive of capitalism is to maximize profit and thus people works on self-interest.
  • Competition – Each firm in the capitalized economy tries to maximize its profit. So there is cut-throat competition in this kind of economy.
  • Supply-Demand Market – Capitalism works on supply and demand. If the demand for a particular item increases, then the price also increases.
  • Government Role – Government role is minimum on the private firms in the capitalized economy. They intervene to prevent monopoly advantage and ensure fair completion among the firms.
  • Consumers Choice – Many private firms exist in the capitalized economy because of the free market. That’s why consumers have many choices for consumption and investment.


  • Consumers can find the best products at the best prices because of the various choices available due to the free market.
  • Since profit is the main motive hence more innovation happens in the capitalized economy because of more freedom.
  • Capitalism encourages people to work harder and hence gain maximum profit.
  • Low process time because of less government intervention.


  • There is a high level of inequalities between the upper class and the lower class in capitalism.
  • Since the upper class has more power, they can use this power to rig the system.
  • In some cases, existing businesses use their powers to create more barriers to entry for new corporations.
  • The natural resource depletion rate is higher because of lower government intervention.
  • Because of the high gap between low and high class, there can be dissatisfaction in the lower class.
  • The risk of unemployment is higher in the capitalist economy at the time of recession.


Capitalism advocates the freedom of the economy outside the government’s hands. Private players are having more control over resources than the state. Thus there is a high degree of competition among these players. States and governments in the capitalist economy need to review the fair play in the competition to ensure smooth functioning.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Capitalism and its definition. Here we discuss characteristics, pillars, examples of capitalism along with advantages and disadvantages. You may refer to the following articles to learn more about finance –