shows and discusses the trade benefits that can be obtained when individuals, firms, or countries specialize in producing goods for which they have a comparative advantage and trade those goods with others.

Gains from specialization and exchange can be seen in a variety of contexts. Most people we pay to do things for us (e.g., grow our food, cut our hair, tutor us, etc.) do so at a lower opportunity cost than we would bear if we did it ourselves. This is where the benefit from trade that benefits both parties comes from, and why you should pay for the service.

To demonstrate your understanding of how comparative advantage works in the modern economy, please discuss a recent purchase and respond to the following prompts:

What exactly is the product or service, and how much did you pay for it?
What is a reasonable estimate of how long it would take you to make the item or perform the service at the same quality level as the one you bought if you couldn’t buy it? You must calculate how long it will take you in hours, days, years, or whatever time measurement you prefer. Don’t even try to avoid it. If you can’t figure it out, choose a different product or service.
Who worked to obtain the funds to purchase the item, and how long did they have to work to obtain the funds? If your money came from the government, go to the page on how the government gets its money.
Was it rational to purchase the item based on your answers to questions 2 and 3 above? Explain. Make sure you compare the time it would take you to make the good or perform the service (mentioned in part 2) to the time it took to earn the money (mentioned in part 3). It is only rational to purchase something if you expend fewer resources working to earn money to pay for it than you would if you made the good or performed the service yourself. Why did you buy it if it turned out to be irrational?
If you want to see an example, go to the “great work” section linked above. However, do not duplicate the example or even the wording. If you understand the material, there are numerous ways to express these ideas. Please come up with your own words or face the consequences of academic dishonesty.