Countries with mixed economies include Iceland, Sweden, France, the U.S, the U.K, Cuba, Russia and China. Most industrial countries have mixed economies, but vary in the degree of government involvement. For example, in Western Europe the government generally has a stronger role, while in North America the market is more influential. The only major planned economy is North Korea.
A mixed economy is one in which both market forces and government actions guide commerce. The government does not control the private sector nor the goods and services available. However, the government is able to intervene in the economy through such methods as the taxation and regulation of goods and services, subsidization of certain goods and services and the redistribution of wealth, such as though public housing, social programs and food stamps. During times of economic hardship, such as during a recession, the government can create policies to provide economic stability.
This is in contrast to market and planned economies. A market economy is one that is primarily directed by businesses and consumer demand, with little government intervention. A planned economy is one in which the government controls the production of goods and services. Communism and socialism are types of planned economies.