The main economy of the former Empire is highly centralized, due to the necessity of constantly providing for the protection of the Rihannsu. The government-run Rihannsu Trading Corporation (RTC) controls all major commodity production and large-scale trading, such as that between Governments within UCIP. The RTC also regulates the smaller privately owned trading companies to ensure high standards.
Trading between Rihannsu and alien races has the same character as any other economy, in which the vendor attempts to gain the best possible price from the customer while the customer attempts to gain a bargain for himself. Trading between Rihannsu operates on extremely different principles, however. The vendor honors the buyer by offering the lowest price he can possibly give, and the buyer tries to talk the vendor up to an honorable price that he feels accurately reflects the social status of himself and his House.
For example, if a Rihannsu were to buy a bottle of wine, the vendor would first offer to sell it at cost, or perhaps less if the buyer was of particularly high status. The buyer would then make a counter-offer, providing a profit margin that reflects the power and status of himself and his family. The two then dicker until a compromise is reached, at which point merchandise changes hands.
Trades, and their effect on society, can greatly vary amongst the Declared. While replicator technology has become a common commodity in the Empire, an interest in 'physical perfection still drives many Rihannsu to pursue farmer/agrarian posts. Furthermore, the social enticement of land ownership and the pride of growing high-class Romulan ale brings many more. But, for many more, industrial and semi-artesian based jobs, in the gigantic state legislated (but not always state-run) production centers, are where work is.
Though much smaller in number, and socially frowned upon, Romulan underworld activities generate private revenues. Hunted viciously by the Tal Shiar, the Romulan syndicates, pirates, crime families, smugglers, and many other unsavory but necessary workers eke out a living-- sometimes creating greater fortunes than those of the proud noble class.