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The economic wellbeing of the people of South Dakota in the 1970’s and beyond will depend on many conditions, but paramount among these will be their abilities to understand and analyze the changing nature of our economy, their wisdom in planning for a better future, and their courage and willingness to take the actions necessary to create the kind of communities they desire. One very important factor determining the economic position of those remaining in the state will be the extent to which they can cause more income to flow into South Dakota from the outside. The people of a state can create more goods and services for themselves from their own resources to be sure, but even more important, from a long-run economic standpoint, are the higher levels of living possible through expansion of interstate and foreign trade. When considering how a state can compete economically, it is well to recognize that the law of comparative advantage plays a very important and pervasive role. This law demonstrates that even though a state may have an absolute advantage in the production of several commodities, it is usually not in a state’s own best economic interest to produce all such commodities. Rather it should produce those commodities where it can achieve the greatest comparative advantage, and trade with other states for other items where its comparative advantage is not so great.

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South Dakota State University


Agricultural Economics