What is relative economic advantage?chap. 13, explain in the easiest way to understand.

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rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Diamond discusses this topic in chapter 13 of Guns, Germs, and Steel. He argues that relative economic advantage is one of the key factors in whether an invention gains acceptance in a society. If a society sees that an invention has an economic advantage over existing technology, it will probably gain acceptance. If not, the invention, however ingenious, will probably not gain wide acceptance. The example he cites is the wheel, which was used by Mesoamerican societies on toys but not on carts or other forms of transportation. This was because there were no large draft animals for pulling wheeled carts in Mesoamerica. So the wheel had no advantage relative to the use of human porters.  

Source: Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 247-248.

yamaguchit's profile pic

yamaguchit | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Economic advantage, as mentioned by the above answer before me, is when a country has a technological advantage over another country, and is thus able to gain an acceptance for an invention with society. 

Unfortunately, with Globalization in high pursuit as it is today, countries with these technological advantages, cause inequality around the world. Sure it's great that the US is able to produce and benefit from the innovative technology around the country, but that same technology is unaccessible to many foreign countries. Unless they pay an extreme high price, money of which they don't have, they are not able to access it or even fund it in their own countries. 

However, as you know from the book Guns, Germs, and Steel, this problem luckily is mentioned and discussed. 


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