The Game

Playing the Game

  • Each student needs access to a computer with an Internet connection and a Java enabled browser (running Java 2 v 1.43.x. or later.
  • Game can be played during class time or at another time in which all students can commit an hour
  • So far used with classes of up to 50 students; larger classes possible
  • Game produces summary measures for posterior analysis and class discussion

Economic Model

Game simulates Ricardian model of trade with linear production technologies:



Lc = country c’s labor endowment,

XcG = country c’s production of good g, and

Alpha = unit labor requirement of good g in country c.

Consumers in all countries have the same preferences, which we model with a CES utility function


Notice that this utility function includes the logarithmic and the Leontief as limiting cases (as Rho approaches 0 and infinity)

For Instructors

  • Instructors can choose among the existing games or create a new one
  • A game is defined by choosing country names, good names, and parameter values for Lc,XcG, and Alpha 
  • Typical game has 2 countries and 2 goods
  • Instructors schedule the time and duration of games

If you would like to use the program, please contact Manolis Kaparakis at

For Students

  • Students are randomly assigned, as they log in, to one of the countries
  • The game is divided in a number of rounds, typically 4
  • In each round, students decide
    • How much to produce of each good
    • Whether to post a trade
    • Whether to accept a posted trade, and
    • How much to consume of each good
  • During the round, students know
    • The parameters Lcand Alpha of their country
    • How their score is computed
    • Remaining time till the end of the round
    • Remaining labor endowment
    • Inventory of goods produced, offered for trade, or available to consume
    • Cumulative and current score
  • The score is computed as the utility of consumption during the round
  • Utility is scaled so that a value of 1 is the optimal utility under autarky; values over 1 indicate gains from trade