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Episode 5: Comparative Advantage

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Ryan Bourne
Ryan Bourne

R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics, Cato Institute

Gain a deeper understanding of how individuals, nations, and the global economy benefit from the concept of comparative advantage in episode five of our Fundamentals of Economics video series with economist Ryan Bourne. In this video, Bourne breaks down the complex economic concept of comparative advantage — the production of a good of service at a lower opportunity cost than another person, firm, or country — through relatable examples for students. Designed for high school students, this video may be utilized to spark conversation in conjunction with an AP economics class or as part of our Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade lesson.

Discussion question suggestions:

  1. Compare and define absolute advantage versus comparative advantage using examples from the video.
  2. How is comparative advantage beneficial for global trade?
  3. Consider an example of comparative advantage from your life and share with a classmate.

Related Lesson: Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade