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The Heckscher-Ohlin Model with variable input coefficients in spreadsheets


  • J. Wilson Mixon, Jr.

    () (Berry College, Campbell School of Business)

  • Soumaya M. Tohamy

    (Berry College, Campbell School of Business)


This paper describes the presentation of the Heckscher-Ohlin model of international trade using an Excel workbook. The model consists of a two-factor economy producing two goods. The production of each is represented by a Cobb-Douglas production function. Given the fixed supplies of the two resources, labour and land, the model demonstrates how competitive markets allocate the resources between two competing uses, cloth production and food production. Presenting this model with Excel allows instructors to illustrate production functions, the derivation of the production possibilities frontier, and the effect of prices on resource allocation, inter alia. It also allows the illustration of the effects of changes in technology, factor supplies, or product prices on economic outcomes. Perhaps more importantly, the use of Excel allows students access to a "live" study guide, within which they can replicate and extend analysis presented by the instructor. This provides a deeper understanding of the theory. At the same time, the students are becoming more familiar with the use of spreadsheets, developing a skill that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Wilson Mixon, Jr. & Soumaya M. Tohamy, 1999. "The Heckscher-Ohlin Model with variable input coefficients in spreadsheets," Computers in Higher Education Economics Review, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 13(2), pages 4-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:chepap:v:13:y:1999:i:2:p:4-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rutherford, Thomas F., 1995. "Extension of GAMS for complementarity problems arising in applied economic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1299-1324, November.
    2. Newbery, David M G, 1981. "Oil Prices, Cartels, and the Problem of Dynamic Inconsistency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(363), pages 617-646, September.
    3. Salant, Stephen W, 1976. "Exhaustible Resources and Industrial Structure: A Nash-Cournot Approach to the World Oil Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 1079-1093, October.
    4. A. M. Ulph & G. M. Folie, 1980. "Exhaustible Resources and Cartels: An Intertemporal Nash-Cournot Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(4), pages 645-658, November.
    5. Ferris, Michael C. & Munson, Todd S., 2000. "Complementarity problems in GAMS and the PATH solver," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 165-188, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Axelsen, Dan & Snarr, Hal W. & Friesner, Dan, 2009. "Teaching consumer theory to business students: an integrative approach," MPRA Paper 37249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. William Hamlen & Kevin Hamlen, 2012. "An Interactive Computer Model of Two-Country Trade," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(2), pages 91-101.

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