This past Tuesday, I was in Atlanta for an IBM-sponsored "Deep Dive" to look at water issues.* I was one of about 20 people who participated. We came from all areas (finance, engineering, food processing, government, academic, etc.) and discussed the present and future challenges facing fresh water. These dives will take place worldwide.
I had a wonderful time offering my "aguanomic" perspective (institutions matter, raise prices, government dominates water, etc.) to people more accustomed to looking at ROI, pump efficiency, revenue per liter, etc.
In future posts, I will discuss a number of "open questions" we wrote down at the end of the meeting. In the future, there will be various reports: verbatim and summary. In the meantime, those of you who want to get a good overview should check out the GIO blog entry on this past event. The blog will be updated with other material, and I'll try to link/comment when it is.
Bottom Line: Comparative advantage means that you are relatively better at something than someone else. By definition, that also means that they are relatively better at the other thing(s). Comparative advantage makes gains from trade possible and profitable. We all profited by trading ideas in Atlanta.
* It was almost a coincidence that Atlanta was also in "drought," i.e., they got only 30 inches when 50 is normal. Read more here and here. Many people wonder why IBM sponsored the event. The selfish reason is that IBM uses these for business planning and lobbying clients; the selfless reason is that sees this as a good way to contribute. That's why GIO pushes out a lot of information.