,  traditional market
Chichicastenango, Guatemala traditional market
Missing image
Street markets such as this one in Rue Mouffetard, Paris are still common in France. Resellers and farmers sell fruits and vegetables, but also meat and fish, and other products.
Missing image
Market stall in internally displaced persons camp in Kitgum, northern Uganda

A market is a mechanism which allows people to trade, normally governed by the theory of supply and demand, so allocating resources through a price mechanism and bid and ask matching so that those willing to pay a price for something meet those willing to sell for it. In some fields of study, a market is assumed to be only this mechanism. However that is an extreme ideological position not shared even by most merchants:

Both general and specialised markets, where only one commodity is traded, exist. Markets work by placing many interested sellers in one place, thus making them easier to find for prospective buyers. An economy which relies primarily on interactions between buyers and sellers to allocate resources is known as a market economy in contrast either to a command economy or to a non-market economy that is based, e.g., on gifts.

Missing image
Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal (Madeira Islands)

Marketplaces and street markets

A marketplace is a physical location where goods and services are exchanged. The traditional marketplace is a city square where traders set up stalls and buyers browse the merchandise. This kind of market is very old, and countless such markets are still in operation around the whole world.

  • In the USA such markets fell out of favor, but renewed interest in local food has cause the reinvention of this type of market, called farmers' markets, in many towns and cities.
  • In continental Europe, especially in France, street markets, as well as "marketplaces" (covered places where merchants have stalls, but not entire stores) are commonplace. Both resellers and producers sell their wares to the public.
  • Markets are often temporary, with stalls only present for two days a week ("market days"), however some (such as Camden Market in London, UK) are open every day of the week. Such markets are normally specialist—the various stalls of Camden Market, along with the shops associated with it, sell a variety of alternative lifestyle products ranging from clothes and jewellery to CDs, instruments and furniture. An example of a large market is Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok.

The Roman term for market, still in use in a related sense, is forum. The modern shopping mall can be seen as an extension of this concept.

See also: Bazaar, Souk, Roman Forum.

Economic markets and marketspaces

In modern times, mainly after the invention of the electronic computer, markets are not always located in a physical space. Such virtual markets consist of communication paths where information exchange is easy and deals may be struck. These are often called marketspaces. A notable example of this is the international currency market. The e-Bay web site can also be considered a marketspace.

See also

es:Mercado eo:Merkato fa:بازار fr:March hi:बाज़ार nl:Markt id:Pasar ja:市場 pl:Rynek (ekonomia) pt:Mercado ru:Рынок simple:Market fi:Markkinat zh:市场


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools