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The law of comparative advantage was first mentioned in 1817 by English economist David Ricardo.
A company has a comparative advantage when it is able to provide a good or service at a lower opportunity cost than others, helping it sell the same product at a lower cost, resulting in better margins.
Comparative advantage is also measured by the salary yardstick, and how much a person’s time, skills and core skill sets are worth.
Example: Michael Jordan is a skilled basketball player, and is very tall. If he wants, he could paint his own house by himself and do it quickly due to his height. But as he is also a skilled sportsperson, he could earn much more in that time, and probably hire someone else to paint his house, even if the hired painter (who has a comparative advantage due to his specialization of painting houses) takes more time to do it.
When a company is at a better position to provide strong value to the customer, it is said to be at a competitive advantage.
Example: A cable TV operator offers low cost wifi internet services at great speeds and no downtime, which isn’t offered by the competition in that area. The decades of experience in cable TV makes for a competitive advantage.
Certain countries have unique strengths, local resources and talent that can be a comparative advantage to them, and make products at a cheaper cost than other countries. If they indulge in protectionism, the end result is higher costs and inefficiency for all.
Example: China has a low opportunity cost to produce simple consumer goods due to the cheap labour it employs, and countries like France and America do not need to focus on simple goods, so are able to make sophisticated products like rockets, cars and ships.
Governments around the world impose rules, regulations and restrictions like:
These practices ensure that comparative advantage does not benefit all like it should, and stifles equality and growth of small players.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Marginal benefit and marginal cost are two measures of how the cost or value of a product changes.
A marginal benefit change in a consumer's advantage if they use an additional unit of a good or service.
A marginal benefit usually declines as consumption increases. For example, the consumer may buy one ring for $100, but only willing to buy another if the second ring is $50. The consumer's marginal benefit reduces from $100 to $50 from the first to the second good.
Producers consider marginal cost, which is the small but measurable change in the expense to the business if it produces one additional unit.
In producing a product, efficiency in productivity can result in making more products in the same amount of time. The cost of raw materials may also go down if it is purchased in bulk, therefore, decreasing the marginal cost.
There is a theory stating that, when it comes to "Black Friday", the term "black" refers to being profitable, which comes from the old bookkeeping practice of recording profits in black ink and losses in red ink.
Retail businesses should be able to sell enough on this Friday (and the ensuing weekend) to put themselves "in the black” for the rest of the year.
A financial crisis is often associated with a panic or a bank run where investors sell off assets or withdraw money from savings accounts.
Generally, a crisis is caused if institutions or assets are overvalued, and can be worsened by panic and herd-like investor behaviour.
Contributing factors include systemic failures, unexpected or uncontrollable human behaviour, regulatory absence or failures, or contagions that is like a virus that spread from one institution or country to the next. If left unchecked, an economic crisis can cause a recession or depression.