This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Traditional economy" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A Laotian farmer plowing with a buffalo.
A Laotian farmer plowing with a buffalo.

A traditional economic system is based on customs, history and time-honored beliefs. A traditional economy is an economic system in which traditions, customs, and beliefs help shape the goods and services the economy produces, as well as the rule and manner of their distribution. Countries that use this type of economic system are often rural and farm-based. Also known as a subsistence economy, a traditional economy is defined by bartering[citation needed][dubious ] and trading. A little surplus is produced[citation needed] and if any excess goods are made, they are typically given to a ruling authority or landowner.

A pure traditional economy has had no changes in how it operates (there are few of these today). Examples of these traditional economies include those of the Inuit or those of the tea plantations in South India.[1] Traditional economies are popularly conceived of as "primitive" or "undeveloped" economic systems, having tools or techniques seen as outdated.[2] As with the notion of contemporary primitiveness and with modernity itself, the view that traditional economies are backward is not shared by scholars in economics and anthropology.[citation needed]Two current examples of a traditional or custom based economy are Bhutan and Haiti (Haiti is not a traditional economy according to CIA Factbook ).

Traditional economies may be based on custom and tradition,[3] with economic decisions based on customs or beliefs of the community, family, clan, or tribe.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Tharian, George K.; Tharakan, P. K. Michael; Tharian, George K.; Tharakan, P. K. Michael (1986-08-01). "Penetration of Capital into a Traditional Economy: the Case of Tea Plantations in Kerala, 1880-1950". Studies in History. 2 (2): 199–229. doi:10.1177/025764308600200204. ISSN 0257-6430.
  2. ^ "traditional economy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  3. ^ Alexander, David (1976). "Newfoundland's Traditional Economy and Development to 1934". Acadiensis. 5 (2): 56–78. JSTOR 30302530.
  4. ^ Rosser, Marina V.; Barkley Rosser, J.; Kramer, Kirby L. (1999). "The new traditional economy". International Journal of Social Economics. 26 (6): 763–778. doi:10.1108/03068299910227318. ISSN 0306-8293.