Difference Wiki

Capitalism vs. Corporatism: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 28, 2023
Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership and market freedom, while corporatism involves the control of the economy by corporate groups, often in collaboration with the government.

Key Differences

Capitalism centers on private ownership and individual economic freedom, allowing businesses to operate for profit. Corporatism, however, often involves the collective decision-making of major economic entities, including both corporations and government bodies.
In capitalism, the free market dictates prices and production based on supply and demand. While, in corporatism, economic decisions may be influenced or managed by corporate groups, sometimes in partnership with the government.
Capitalism emphasizes competition and innovation driven by individual entrepreneurs and businesses. Meanwhile, corporatism can lead to a concentration of power in large corporations that work closely with government agencies.
The role of government in capitalism is generally limited to regulation and protection of property rights. Whereas, in corporatism, the government often plays a more active role in aligning with corporate interests.
Success in capitalism is typically measured by profit and market share. In corporatism, success may also be influenced by the ability to form strategic alliances with government entities.

Comparison Chart


Corporate groups, often in collaboration with government

Market Operation

Free market and competition
Managed or influenced by corporate and government alliances


Driven by individuals and competition
Can be shaped by corporate interests

Government Role

Limited to regulation
Active, often aligned with corporate interests

Measure of Success

Profit and market share
Profit and strategic alliances

Capitalism and Corporatism Definitions


Capitalism encourages private enterprise and individual wealth accumulation.
His business success was a result of the capitalist system.


Corporatism is an economic system where corporations influence or control government policies.
The government's policy was shaped by corporatism, favoring large industries.


Capitalism operates with minimal government intervention in markets.
Capitalism thrives on the principle of laissez-faire economics.


Corporatism can lead to collaboration between business leaders and government.
In corporatism, corporate lobbying plays a significant role in legislation.


Capitalism is an economic system based on private property and free markets.
The rise of tech startups is a testament to capitalism's encouragement of innovation.


Corporatism may lead to a concentration of economic power in a few large entities.
The merger was a classic example of corporatism influencing market dynamics.


Capitalism is characterized by the free exchange of goods and services.
The stock market is a central component of capitalism.


Corporatism often results in the prioritization of corporate interests in policymaking.
The new tax laws reflected corporatism, benefiting major corporations.


Capitalism relies on competition and consumer choice to drive progress.
In capitalism, multiple brands compete to offer the best product.


Corporatism can limit competition by favoring established corporations.
Small businesses struggled due to the corporatism favoring big players.


An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development occurs through the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.


Of, relating to, or being a corporative state or system.


(politics) A socio-economic system based on private ownership of resources or capital.


The principle or practice of corporate action; specifically, a political ideology which advocates for government and social organization by collective interest groups.


(economics) An economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.


The influence or effects of large business corporations.


A socio-economic system based on private property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.


An economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.


An economic system based on predominantly private (individual or corporate) investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of goods and wealth; contrasted with socialism or especially communism, in which the state has the predominant role in the economy.


An economic system based on private ownership of capital


Does corporatism promote competition?

It can limit competition by favoring large corporations.

Can capitalism exist without government intervention?

Minimal government intervention is a feature, but some regulation is necessary.

How does capitalism benefit consumers?

Through competition, leading to innovation and better prices.

Is corporatism beneficial for economic growth?

It can benefit certain sectors, but may not be inclusive.

Can small businesses thrive in a corporatist system?

It's more challenging due to the dominance of larger corporations.

How does corporatism affect government policies?

By allowing corporate interests to influence or control policy decisions.

How does capitalism impact wealth distribution?

It can lead to unequal wealth distribution.

What is the key principle of capitalism?

Private ownership and free market operation.

Is corporatism common in democratic countries?

It can occur, especially where there is strong corporate lobbying.

What drives innovation in a capitalist system?

Competition and the pursuit of profit.

How does corporatism affect market dynamics?

By potentially skewing the market in favor of large entities.

Can capitalism lead to monopolies?

Without regulation, it can lead to monopolistic practices.

Does corporatism prioritize public interest?

Not always, as it can prioritize corporate over public interests.

What role do entrepreneurs play in capitalism?

They are key drivers of innovation and economic growth.

Can corporatism lead to regulatory capture?

Yes, where regulations are influenced to favor certain corporations.

How does capitalism affect social mobility?

It can provide opportunities, but also create barriers due to inequality.

Are government and corporate interests always aligned in corporatism?

Often, but not necessarily in every case.

How are consumer choices influenced in capitalism?

Through market variety and competition.

Does corporatism always involve corruption?

Not inherently, but it can lead to corrupt practices.

Does capitalism ensure economic freedom for all?

In theory, though disparities can exist in practice.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons