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Capitalism is an economic and social system in which capital, the non-labor factors of production (also known as the means of production), isprivately owned; labor, goods and capital are traded in markets; and profits distributed to owners or invested in technologies andindustries.
There is no consensus on the definition of capitalism, nor how it should be used as an analytical category. There are a variety of historical cases over which it is applied, varying in time, geography, politics and culture. Economists, political economists and historians have taken different perspectives on the analysis of capitalism. Scholars in the social sciences, including historians, economic sociologists, economists, anthropologists and philosophers have debated over how to define capitalism, however there is little controversy that private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit in a market, and prices and wages are elements of capitalism.
Economists usually put emphasis on the market mechanism, degree of government control over markets (laissez faire), and property rights, while most political economists emphasize private property, power relations, wage labor, and class. There is a general agreement that capitalism encourages economic ...