In a Command Economy or Planned Economy, the central or state government regulate various factors of production. In fact, the government is the final authority to take decisions regarding production, utilization of the finished industrial products and the allocation of the revenues earned from their distribution.
The government-certified planners come second in the hierarchy. They distribute the works among the labor class, who actually undergo the toiling part of the entire process. China and former USSR and are perhaps two of the best instances of Command Economy. Though many countries now-a-days are switching off from Planned Economy to Market or Mixed Economy, yet nations like North Korea and Cuba are some countries where Planned Economy still exists in full form.
In case of a Command Economy, both state-owned and private enterprises receive guidance and directives from the government regarding production capacity, volume, modes of production and course of their actions. Planned economic system is broadly segregated into two groups – Centralized and Decentralized. The centralized or centrally Planned Economy, as prevalent in former Soviet Union, is a more familiar concept between the two. The decentralized Command Economy, on the other hand, is more theoretical in nature with little or no application in the actual economic spheres.
Characteristic features of Command Economy:
By nature, a Command Economy is more stable, guaranteeing constant exploitation of the existing resources. It is least affected by financial downturns and inflations.
In a carefully planned Command Economic system, both surplus production and unemployment rates remain at a reasonable level
The steady nature of Planned Economy encourages investments in long-standing project-related infrastructures without any possibility of financial recessions.
Command Economy is just opposite to the concept of Market Economy, with respect to the basic money-making approaches. While Market Economy tends to multiply the wealth of a nation through the gradual process of evolution, Command Economic system prefers deliberate planning of the entire money-making process for better results. In fact, such sincere economic planning in the long run proves beneficial to improve the economic conditions of a country.
Command Economy emphasizes more on collective benefits, rather than the requirements of a single individual. Under such circumstances, rewards, wages and other monetary benefits like bonus are distributed on the basis of the joint rendering of services. This is how Planned Economy actually eradicates the profit-making at individual levels.
Ever since its unification as a nation state in 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been an oil-dominated economy. Most improvements and setbacks in its economic and social indicators can be invariably traced to the ups and downs of the oil market.
While that kind of volatility in revenues is unhelpful, dependence on petroleum would not ring too many alarm bells if it was sustainable. But it is not. Oil and the revenues it generates – 90% of all government income – will dry up at some point in the future, and the economy could collapse unless it diversifies.
Nouriel Roubini, a.k.a. “Doctor Doom”, is chairman of Roubini Global Economics and professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Roubini has been consistently cited as one of the world’s top global thinkers. This year, he was voted as the most influential economist in the world by Forbes magazine.
Mario I. Blejer is a former governor of the Central Bank of Argentina and former Director of the Center for Central Banking Studies at the Bank of England. Eduardo Levy Yeyati is Professor of Economics at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Andrea Edwards has worked in marketing and communications all over the globe for 20 years, and is now focused on her passion – writing. A gifted communicator, strategist, writer and avid blogger, Andrea is Managing Director of SAJE, a digital communications agency, and The Writers Shop – a regional collaboration between the best business writers in Asia Pacific
James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University. Director of Program in International Finance and Macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research.