The phrase 'economic system' refers to the organizational arrangements and processes through which a society makes its production and consumption decisions. In this 1991 book, Professor Conkin explores the diversity of economic systems and the choices societies must face in determining the economic systems best suited to their needs. He discusses the alternative objectives and alternative decision modes that are available to societies. Objectives such as efficiency, growth, liberty, and equality - though themselves desirable - frequently involve trade-offs; the more complete attainment of any one objective may involve the partial sacrifices of another. In pursuit of its objectives, each society uses a combination of decision modes. Professor Conklin examines six of these: free enterprise, price controls, subsidies, taxation, non-price regulations, and public enterprise. He ends with a discussion of the processes societies use to make their choice among objectives and decision modes.
Acknowledgements; 1. Introductory overview; Part I. Objectives: 2. Efficiency and growth; 3. Liberty and equality; Part II. Decision Modes: 4. Free enterprise; 5. Price controls; 6. Subsidies; 7. Taxation; 8. Non-price regulations; 9. Public enterprises; Part III. Choosing Objectives and Decision Modes: 10. Reform and revolution; 11. Constraints imposed by the new world economy; Notes; Index.