Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have created economic systems according to experience, just as we evolved the art of cooking. To learn to cook breakfast, one does not need to go to school or formal study. We usually learn from others or from our own trial and error.
Economics also sprang out of experience and trial and error. Each group of people had ideas on how to best create wealth. These different ideas formed different systems. For example, ancient China relied on agriculture while the Roman empire relied on slaves and conquest. The Roman empire was more affluent than China, but China outlived Rome. Ancient China and Rome did not feel the need to create a formal study of their own economic system because it was learned by experience, in the same way that we do not need to document how we learned how to cook breakfast, because our breakfast already works fine. The need for formal study only arises when we get exposed to other systems better than our own.
In modern history, only two major systems have grown to proper study: Capitalism and Communism. Communism fell in 1990’s and Capitalism took a major hit in 2008. Since then, full alternative economic systems have sprung, which I have listed below:
Binary Economics (employee-owned companies)
Conscious Capitalism (based on four principles)
Ecological Economics (based on ecological systems and thermodynamics)
Happonomy (based on 5 Spheres and 21 Dimensions)
Paradism (Technology based economy)
PARECON or Participatory Economics (based on self-management)
Prout (cooperative-based economy, PR Sarkar)
Social Resource Allocation SORA (This site, based on Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations)
Solidarity (based on 3rd Sector principles)
Steady State Economy (zero growth economy by limiting production)
This list will always be a work in progress since new ideas are being created all the time. I have not included Regenerative Capitalism and Bill Gates’ Creative Capitalism since they are not full systems but merely propose superficial changes to the existing capitalist system. I have also not included Firewall economics and Zero Marginal Cost society (which advocate everything being free) as they seem undeveloped.
Edit 2/2017: Added Valhalla, New Earth Nation, and Paradism. Did not add Ubuntu Contribution System (Michael Tellinger)
Edit 5/2017: Added Homo Donans
Edit 5/2018: Did not add Zero Marginal Cost and Mocica and Copiosis (Net Benefit Reward, Perry Gruber)