Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Silvia RučinskáEmail author
  • Ronny Müller
  • Jannik A. Nauerth
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_109


Capitalism is a social and economical system which applies the use of production factors of the economy as a whole. Capitalism can also be understood as a manufacturing process, which is focused on profit maximization and is based on the principle of the invisible hand. Capitalism is associated with the private production of goods and the individual benefit of surplus. These attributes differ from other systems, especially from socialism or communism. Differences occur in the explanation of capitalism, depending on the socioeconomic origin of the explanation.

Additionally, a historical phase of society’s development is called capitalism.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Ručinská
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronny Müller
    • 1
  • Jannik A. Nauerth
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Public AdministrationPavol Jozef Šafárik University in KošiceKošiceSlovakia
  2. 2.Faculty of Business and EconomicsUniversity of Technology DresdenDresdenGermany