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50 Examples of Economic Change

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Economic change is a shift in the structure of an economic system. This results in changes to societies, cultures and everyday life on a global or national basis. Economic change caused by technology, politics and progress is a regular feature of history. The following are illustrative examples of economic change.
Rise of emerging markets
Disruptive innovation
Customer preferences
Customer needs
Customer lifestyles
Consumer confidence
Shift towards services
Knowledge economy
Trade agreements
Trade wars
Demographic change
Digital payments
Remote work
Sharing economy
Green technologies
Social responsibility for business impacts
Renewable energy
Circular economy
Economic use of artificial intelligence
Economic growth
Political instability
Political disruptions to business
New industries
New business models
New regulations
Interest rates
Exchange rates
Availability of credit
Labor market conditions
Education systems and the skills they produce
Immigration policies
Employee expectations
Supply chain disruptions
Debt levels
Taxation levels
Tax policy
Culture shifts
Digital marketing
Digital technologies that allow mass participation in a market
New technologies
New materials
New business services such as cloud computing
Competitive environment
Quality expectations

Economic Systems

Changes in an economic system such as a shift from a centrally planned economy to a free market system.


Political shifts such as the formation of the European Union that created the world's largest single market system in 1999.

Economic Policy

Changes in economic policy such as the end of the gold standard and introduction of a system of pure fiat money initiated by the United States in 1971.

Social Change

Social change such as the entry of more women into the workforce. This is a long term trend that accelerated after WWII in many countries.


Changes to the demographics of a nation such as an aging population.


Legal changes in areas such as business regulations and property rights. For example, environmental laws could create new industries and destroy old ones if they can not adapt.

Technological Change

Technology can lead to changes in productivity, efficiency and employment demand. For example, the use of digital computers by businesses beginning in the 1960s led to some productivity improvements and many new industries. Historically, it is common for predictions of technology driven economic change to be overly dramatic.


The development of the soft and hard infrastructure of a nation. For example, a country that builds institutions, transportation systems, technology infrastructure and resilient cities that make its economy more efficient.


Structural changes to markets or the introduction of new markets. For example, ecommerce is a relatively new market for goods and services.


Shifts in supply such as a shortage caused by a war. Supply can also suddenly increase due to technological advancement.


Demand shifts such as changing consumer needs and preferences. For example, refrigerators cause a shift in food consumption patterns when they are adopted by consumers in a developing country.


Shifts in trade such as the long term trend towards more international trade known as globalization. On the flip side, a trade war can cause a sudden reduction in trade.


A disaster or war can result in sudden change such as a severe shortage of raw materials, parts and goods.

Economic Problems

Economic problems such as a depression or hyper inflation can permanently change the structure of an economy.

Business Models

A business model is a way of capturing value. The global economy is mostly based on a handful of business models. As such, new business models or shifts in business models can have a significant impact. For example, many advanced economies are experiencing a shift towards service industries as a greater percentage of economic output.


The following are common types of economic change:


Change to products, services, markets, industries, business conditions and working life.
Definition: Economic Change
A shift in the structure of an economic system.
Also Known As
Structural economic change
Economic shift
Related Concepts
Next: Social Change
More about economic change:
Economic Problems
Free Market
Industrial Revolution
Knowledge Economy
Service Economy
Trade War
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