Traditional Economy

Based off of acquiring only what is necessary for survival.

Society based off of a traditional market structures include:


Subsistence farmers are people who farm just enough for them to survive the current season/year. Common techniques are the slash and burn pictured above, where a field is razed and all of the plants burnt on it in order to fertilize the soil for future harvests. Unfortunately, this burst of productivity is short lived, as after one harvest, the field becomes unusable.

More information on subsistence farming here.

Hunter Gatherers

People or tribes who survive only on hunting and foraging. This can include anything from traditional hunting to fishing, to gathering wild plants. Hunter-Gatherer People groups are usually very nomadic, with following prey and finding new plants are common concerns.


Answers the three major economic questions very concisely. only what is necessary for survival is produced, therefore, there is very little waste, as the goods are usually produced locally, for the people who produce them.

Systems of distribution are also determin by tradition or customs

Few disagreements on roles and goals for the economy.


Under Pressure

Very reluctant to change, based off of tradition.

People do not always end up in the jobs that they are best suited to, decreasing productivity.

Rapidly dwindling in number worldwide.

Fairly low productivity, therefore, the standard of living is much lower.

Many communities based off of traditional economies are under pressure from the outside world to change their society that will benefit outside economies.

There is also great interior pressure from the younger generations, with many members wanting to strike out from the community, and join the modern world, which has a much greater standard of living than they were raised with.

Communities using this economic system (with links)

Comment Stream

2 years ago

You did a great job in presenting the information along with graphics. It looks really nice. However your advantages section feels like its lacking a little bit and only states what is in the book. It would've been nice if you could have looked for other advantages from other sites.

2 years ago

The amount of information was impressive and it was well put together but you could have made it more presentable with bullets.

2 years ago

Great presentation, I think you summarized how a traditional economy works very well. I kind of wish that you could have covered some of the individual communities that still have a traditional economy in detail so I could see better examples. However, your information is still excellent.