ZIMSEC Advanced Level Business Studies/ Business Enterprise Skills Notes: Economic Philosophies: An Introduction

  • Economic philosophies are also known as economic ideologies
  • It refers to a set of economic ideals that a given person, society, country, people ascribe to
  • It refers to what this group of people/person believe the economy ought to be
  • It expresses a perspective on the way an economy should run and to what end
  • In Economics parlance, we can say that economic philosophies take a normative approach as opposed to a positive approach
  • This is because economic philosophies involve making judgments about economic fairness or what the outcome of the economy or goals of public policy ought to be
  • Examples of ideas that are dealt with under economic philosophies include:
    • Whether people should be allowed to privately own land and other resources (factors of production)
    • Whether governments should be allowed to meddle in business affairs
    • The extent to which certain industries must be regulated by the government
    • Whether the government must make sure there is an equitable distribution of wealth
    • How should prices be set within the economy or a given industry
    • Should the government pursue nationalisation of certain or all industries
    • Should the government pursue social welfare?
    • Should the government introduce and administer universal health care?
    • Should the government pursue policies to make sure there is an equitable distribution of wealth?
  • To this end, over the centuries various economic ideologues have been put forth:
    1. Capitalism
    2. Socialism
    3. Communism
    4. Fascism
    5. Laissez-faire
    6. Marxism–Leninism
  • One thing to note is that economic ideology is often part of a broad political idealogy
  • Economic philosophies are sometimes confusingly called economic systems
  • Strictly speaking, economic systems are often a mere result of economic ideologies
  • Leaders who hold certain economic ideologies, create an economic system based on these ideals
  • Economic systems are thus positive in nature i.e. they are what is as opposed to what ought to be
  • Hence, for example, capitalism is often implemented in the form of a Free Market Economic system
  • On the other hand, Communism frequently leads to the adoption of a Command Economic system
  • Like all ideals, the economic systems are often a poor imitation of the ideology

To access more topics go to the Advanced Level Business Studies/ Business Enterprise Skills page

To access more topics go to the Advanced Level Business Studies/ Business Enterprise Skills page

- See latest Zimbabwe grocery prices -


We publish the latest grocery prices from Zimbabwean supermarkets. We also deliver groceries online

Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge

If anything goes wrong, click here to enter your query.