Criteria of Market Economy

Updated: 2006-10-09 16:11

The questions "What is a market economy?" "What is a standard market economy?" or rather "What are the standards for a market economy?" would naturally pop up when people are talking about some countries being market economy countries and some enterprises being market economy enterprises. For if not so, how come the conclusion as to whether a country is or is not a market economy country?

As a matter of fact, the existence of criteria of a market economy is controversial. Each one gets a reason to support his or her own idea. We hereby accept a proposition, i.e., criteria of market economy do exist, put forward due to anti-dumping cases involved in international trade, but also believe that the criteria are established on a relative basis.

Some well-recognized market economy countries, we have discovered, practice various economic systems. It is difficult to say, therefore, that certain country is a standard market economy country, while any other country not exactly the same cannot be regarded as a market economy country. Due to different traditions and development phases, countries inevitably differ in the form, even the contents of their market economy to a certain extent. The existence of differences does not mean there are no market economy criteria, however, and it is unacceptable to deny the existence of market economy criteria due to such differences. As an economic system in human history, the market economy came into being in modern times and is flourishing nowadays. It differs from either historical self-sufficient economy or planned economy, and certainly has its intrinsic definition that refers to the commonness of various market economy countries at different development stages. The commonness, being sorted out from various market economy countries, shapes a framework, which will facilitate us to judge a country's status of market economy in anti--dumping cases. While it is reasonable to admit that there are certain criteria of market economy, it is incorrect to rigidly apply such criteria in an arbitrary way. The framework of market economy criteria is a range of fundamental characteristics of market economy, a status section with certain allowable differences and variations, and a varied status section of market economy taking the commonness of different countries' market economy as a dominant factor and supplemented with variations, rather than an absolute concept, a point or a line.


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