Mixed Economic System

Updated on January 30, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Mixed Economic System?

A mixed economic system combines capitalist and socialistic ideals allowing the protection of private assets; while simultaneously allowing liberty in using capital and federal intervention in financial decision-making.

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It helps to achieve social objectives involving trade protection, fiscal stimulus in the form of trade subsidies, tax credit being common illustrations of federal influence thereby allowing public-private partnership treaty. Therefore there is government control but at the same time production is influenced and handled by private owners.

Key Takeaways

  • A mixed economic system is a combination of capitalist and social ideals that allows private assets protection,
  • At the same time, it allows liberty in capital use and federal intervention in economic decision-making to attain social objectives involving fiscal stimulus in trade subsidies form, trade protection, and trade credit, typical illustrations of federal influence. So, it allows public-private partnerships treaty.
  • Broadly, there are three types of mixed economies: partial state control, total government control, and pubic-private control.
  • The mixed economic systems features are the co-existence of multiple sectors, co-operatives, operations freedom, economic management, and social welfare.  

Mixed Economic System Explained

A mixed economy is an economic arrangement of a free market and socialistic ideals that makes it follow a pattern of capitalism and socialism. The mixed economies uphold private ownership of production activities but within governmental control. Thus, both private and the government sector play an important role in resource allocation, framing of economic policies, rules and regulations for different industries displaying the mixed economic system characteristics.  

Mixed economies involve governmental control of companies that provide essential goods and services used by the public like airports, transport, mining, electricity, telecom, railways, water supply, food, medicine, banking, and defense. All present age economies are examples of mixed economies though there is widespread criticism by various economists on the economic bearings of mixed economic systems.

However, this kind of economy has the power to harness the benefits of both overnment control an market  based activities to achieve the social and economic objective.

While a mixed economy is good for the economy, it should maintain the balanced growth of public and private parties and the market equilibrium. It is to be noted that the balance between the government and market forces depends on the economy and can vary based on history, culture, and political factors. Still, the ultimate aim is to promote economic stability.

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There are broadly three types of mixed economies:

Types of Fixed Economies

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Apart from the above types of economic systems that are mixed, it should be undersatood that they are not mutually exclusive. Thus, there are many countries who exhibit features that are a combination of various types of mixed economy or model. The political and social atmosphere influence the effect and extent of market and government control.


Present-day economicsEconomicsEconomics is an area of social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of limited resources within a society.read more are asynchrony of more than two economic systems. The public and private sectorsPrivate SectorsThe private sector is a section of the national economy that the government does not own. The business conducted under this sector is carried out by companies or entrepreneurs who focus on profit maximization and customer satisfaction.read more work together while vying for the same resources. Mixed economic systems do not prohibit the private sector from profiteering but impose regulatory measures on the national significance and public consumption industries. In modern-day times, the world economies are mostly mixed with socialistic and capitalistic features.

  • #1 – Co-existence of Multiple Sectors: In this system, the three major sectors, viz. private, public, and mixed sectors, thrive together in peace. The mixed sector is jointly driven by the government and private companiesPrivate CompaniesA privately held company refers to the separate legal entity registered with SEC having a limited number of outstanding share capital and shareowners. read more with more than half government control.
  • #2 – Co-operatives: In a mixed economy, there is a cooperative sector whose objective is to provide financial support to cooperative societies involved in agriculture, animal husbandry, or warehousing.
  • #3 – Freedom of Operation: The choice to produce goods and provide services, buy capital assets, select professions, products, or services is given to the public but to check monopolistic forces, the government maintains state control.
  • #4 – Economic Management: A mixed economy is a federal planning body. All economic sectors adhere to the state’s economic plan to fulfill various set targets. Financial planning is not rigid but acts as a common guideline for the overall prosperity and growth of the national economy.
  • #5 – Welfare of Society: Social welfare is one of the prime targets of a mixed economy. It fights to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor by providing job opportunities and reducing poverty. The other targets are social and economic security, health care, and free or subsidized education up to high school for all.


Mixed Economic System

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The following are the characteristics of a mixed economic system –

#1 – Co- Survival of Public and Private Sectors

There is a harmonious co-survival of public, private, and combined sectors. The private sector firms are profit-oriented. Private entities control production in these sectors. However, the state reserves control over such entities. Industries in the public sector are social welfare-centered entities largely controlled by government bodies. The combined sectors work in cohesion in public-private partnershipsPublic-private PartnershipsPubic-private partnership refers to a collaborative model whereby the government agency collaborates with a private sector organization to accomplish a large-scale infrastructure project through private funding. Such projects include the construction of dams, bridges, airports, roads, etc.read more.

#2 – Economic Planning

In a mixed economy, the government takes concern for both the public and private sectors in economic and fiscal planning, taking measures favoring both. There is just resource allocation attempting to coincide with the productive strength of capitalismCapitalismCapitalism is an economic system consisting of businesses, resources, capital goods, and labour. Private entities own it, and the income 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.read more and the just distribution of socialism. The government policies are framed so that public companies in rural areas also provide stimulus packages, and tax relies on private companies to shop in backward regions displaying the mixed economic system characteristics.

#3 – Safeguarding of Consumer Rights

The interests of the end consumers are protected in a mixed economy. Consumers are given enhanced freedom to buy products and services of their choice. The government regulates the prices of the products so that private groups may not exploit them.

#4 – Protection of Labor Rights

The government protects the working class from exploitation by private parties. The Factories Act and The Minimum Wages Act are some of the measures taken to protect the interests of the labor forceLabor ForceThe labor force (LF) refers to the number of persons working (employed) and not working but actively seeking work (unemployed). It excludes the homemakers, retired personnel, and discouraged workers from the count.read more.


Let us understand the concept with the help of some suitable examples of economies or countries with mixed economic system.

United Kingdom is an example of mixed economy in which private entities drive most of the economic activities. But the government has the responsibility of providing essential services like healthcare through the National Health Services (NHS) along with other different welfare programs for the citizens of the country.

United States also falls under this type of economic system where the federal government is involved in handling various areas like education, social welfare, healthcare, etc while the private sector owns most of other industries of the country.

Like the above economies, others like Australia, Sweden, Singapore, Japan, etc, follow this system. But it is essential to understand the government’s level of intervention and the type and mix of policies in the countries with mixed economic system. The above examples tell us how the economies blend market forces with government intervention to achieve a society with high standards.


The following are the advantages of a mixed economic system –


Along with the merits of mixed economic system, the following are the disadvantages of a mixed economic system: –

Thus, it is necessary to understand and have a clear idea about the demerits and merits of mixed economic systems. This will help analysts to interpret the level of economic, technological, and political advancements in a country and also relate it with the financial system that is followed. The type of effects the mixed system has on its growth and expansion can easily be identified.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a mixed economic system vs. a traditional economic system?

A mixed economic system combines elements of both market and command model economic systems. In this system, the government and private entities have a role in the economy, with the government often regulating and owning some industries while the private sector operates others. In contrast, traditional economies rely on customs and beliefs with minimal government involvement. Economic activity in traditional economies is driven by individuals and families meeting their own needs.

2. Why does the country Philippines follow a mixed economic system?

The Philippines follows a mixed economic system because it allows for government intervention in education and healthcare while promoting private enterprise and foreign investment in manufacturing and services.

3. What are examples of mixed economic system countries?

Examples of countries with mixed economic systems include the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

This article is a guide to what is a Mixed Economic System. We explain it with examples, advantages, characteristics, disadvantages, features and types. You can learn more from the following articles: –