An economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership of the means of production.
Dominant in the Western world since the breakup of feudalism. Capitalism encourages private investment and business, compared to a government-controlled economy.
Investors in these private companies (i.e. shareholders) also own the firms and are known as capitalists. most of the means of production are privately owned and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets.