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What Are the Advantages of a Traditional Economy?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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In order to consider the advantages of a traditional economy, it is necessary to first understand the definition of the concept. The term traditional economy is used to describe a more ancient type of economic system that has been used before the advent of more contemporary forms of economic systems. This type of economy is characterized by the practice of basing the choice of economic activities in a society on the type of resources that are abundant or easily obtainable in that region as well as the tradition of the people. The advantages of this type of economic system include the fact that there is a better understanding of the roles of members of the society, a reduction in strife among the society members, little need for extensive initial capital outlay, and a higher rate of productivity due to the psychological advantage fostered by this type of economy.

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One of the advantages of a traditional economy is the fact that the members of the society where this type of economy is practiced have a clear knowledge of their role. This is due to the fact that a traditional economy is a somewhat primitive economic system where the people define their economic pursuits according to the roles that have been have been handed down to them to them from their forbears. For instance, people from families with generations of hunters know that their role in the society is to hunt, and people from families who are traditionally linked to fishing know that it is their role to fish. This clear definition of the roles of community members means that everyone is aware of the expectations of the society regarding them.

A further inclusion in the advantages of a traditional economy is the fact that this clear division of roles means there is little need for unrest or discontent within the economy. Everyone understands and accepts his or her duties and works toward fulfilling that expectation. It also means that there is little need for idleness since the resources the people need to carry out their duty is available to them. For instance, fishermen only need their fishing gear, while farmers only need their land and farming equipment. Another advantage of a traditional economy is the fact that this type of advantage fosters a sense of belonging among the community members, causing them to be more productive as a result.

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literally45
Post 3

@fify-- That's true that there wouldn't be as many types of goods in a traditional economy. But humans have lived in this type of system for most of history and there are still groups in the world that function this way. We don't need to import tropical fruits from South American to survive. We would be fine on corn, potatoes, pumpkins and meat, for example.

I think the modern economic system has made us all into selfish, individualistic consumers. Most of what we buy is unnecessary and we no longer care about what other people in our society have or don't have. We don't share what we own and feel that only we have a right to our money. Our biggest pleasure in life is to go shopping. It's kind of sad.

fify
Post 2

@literally45-- But won't there be a very small variety of goods in that system? We would have to eat potatoes all year. And there would be no development, there would be little incentive to develop technology.

literally45
Post 1

I don't think that a traditional economy is primitive at all. It's very different from the kind of economic system we live in today, but that doesn't mean that it's primitive and bad.

A traditional economy is basically a non-market economy that relies on farming and hunting and bartering the goods in a small, closed society.

I actually think that this is a brilliant way to live because it makes life very easy and promotes strong relationships in society. Instead of working to make money and then buying food with that money, individuals in a traditional economy plant and harvest food, they hunt and they produce what they need. When they have an excess in a good, they share it with others in the society.

I really admire this system. If I had the option of living in such a system, I would.

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