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About Trade

The Trade Ruler educational game and related reading are based on the 1977 Prize in Economic Sciences, which was awarded for a theory showing that countries engage in and benefit from trade if their production resources differ from each other.

Trade Ruler Game

- What is an economic theory?
- How can a country gain from trade according to the Heckscher-Ohlin theory?

The Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory is about how two countries can get greater gains from trading with each other if they have different resources – one have more labor and the other have more capital (that is technical equipment and machinery).

By specializing in production, and by trading with other countries, it is possible for countries to increase their incomes. Even though countries as a whole benefit from specialization and international trade, all groups in society, workers and capitalists, do not gain according to the Heckscher-Ohlin theory. If international trade leads a country to specialize in producing goods that require lots of workers and little capital, such a specialization increases wages (which benefits the workers) but decreases the income of the capital owners. But the country as a whole benefits because the gain of the workers is bigger than the loss of the capital owners.

The Trade Ruler game is set in the "Hechscher-Ohlin world" you are to make an island (a country) prosper by trading. As a ruler of an island you want to engage in international trade to achieve this goal.

For instructions on how to play the game, click on the HELP button found at the bottom of the game window.

Reading: "Why trade?"

Find out about international trade according to Ohlin's prize-awarded work.
- Introduction
- From cakes to a gold medal
- What is an economic theory?
- Machines and workers
- Gains from trade
- The Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory
- Other laureates' work on trade theory

Read "Why trade?"

The Trade Ruler Game was produced by: Nobel Media, with the support of the Riksbank. Sound by Sound Propulsion, Stockholm.
Acknowledgments: Joakim Persson, Karlstad University, Department of Economics, Karlstad, Sweden.
First published: February 2006
Estimated play time: 15 min.
Sound: Yes
High score: Yes
Plug in requirements: Flash 6

To cite this page
MLA style: "Trade - About". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2019. <>

About the educational games

The educational games are based on Nobel Prize awarded discoveries and were produced between 2001 and 2012. The games have not been updated since production (including potential scientific facts changes) and are provided here on an 'as is' basis by popular demand.

The games require Adobe Flash Player. Adobe Flash is an old technology with an end of life by 2020 and these games will then no longer work. Flash is disabled in many browsers and need to be activated in order to play the games.