2. A circumstance or factor that places a person in a favorable position in relation to another individual or to other people.
3. Etymology: from Old French avant, "before"; from Latin abante, "before".
2. The ratio of the output force to the input force for a machine which transmits mechanical energy: "Mechanical advantage is the work produced by a machine, divided by the force applied to it".
"Actual machines can provide a mechanical advantage that is greater than unity (number or numeral one, oneness); however, the greater the mechanical advantage, the greater the distance which the input force must move in relation to the output force."
2. A country has an absolute advantage if its output per unit of input of all goods and services produced is greater than that of another country.
If one person, firm, or country can produce more of something with the same amount of effort and resources, they have an absolute advantage over other producers.
The question of what to specialize in and how to maximize the benefits from international trade is determined according to comparative advantage that identifies which activities a country, firm, or individual is most efficient at doing. Both absolute and comparative advantages may change significantly over time.