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Ohlin, Bertil (1899-1979)


After studying at Harvard, Ohlin returned to Stockholm to complete his Ph.D. in 1924. The following year he became professor of economics at Copenhagen. He became active in politics and from 1944 to 1967 was chairman of the Swedish Liberal Party, serving as minister of commerce in 1944-45. Ohlin's major contribution was his extension of the theory of international trade originally developed by E. Heckscher, resulting in what is commonly known now as the Hecksher-Ohlin principle. Ohlin emphasized the fact that, as trade expands, the special advantage in a country that enables it to export becomes increasingly important. Increased demand for tbese specialized factors eventually makes them more expensive, and thus international trade equalizes the initial relative advantage one nation has over its trading partners. Ohlin's contributions were first published in his Interregional and International Trade (1933). In 1977 Ohlin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.