About fifteen years ago, I had the idea of writing a series of computer programs designed to teach economics, taking advantage of ways in which a computer could do things that a book could not. I wrote the first three programs to go with my price theory textbook, sketched ideas for about twenty more, and did some work on two of them. I also enlisted my friend Tom Courtney in the project, and he did a good deal of work on the most ambitious of the programs, a computer game called "Hansa" designed to give the player a feel for the economics of trade, including the principles of comparative advantage and gains from trade.
Eventually the project faded out, due mostly to my limited supplies of time, energy, and programming expertise. After reading Eric Raymond's essays on open source software, it occurred to me that it might be possible to revive it as an open source project. This page is my attempt to do so. It contains links to the programs I wrote, in both source code (various old versions of Basic) and object code form, for both the Macintosh and MsDos, links to the code for the unfinished programs, such as it is, and links to my descriptions of all of the programs, including Hansa.
If you think you might be interested in participating in the project, let me know; if enough people express interest, I can set up a listserve and try to get it actually going.
In the spirit of open source software, anyone is
welcome to use any of these ideas and any of the code. The only
condition is that code based on mine should remain open source.
Descriptions of the programs
Hansa: A Game of Comparative Advantage
Hansa v.84, Macintosh (Stuffit archive)
Hansa source code + (Stuffit archive)
Hansa 2: Mikel Evins' project to rewrite Hansa in Java
Programs for Price Theory: An Intermediate Text
Macintosh version (Stuffit archive)
Dos version (Stuffit archive)
Later programs (Macintosh only). For explanations, see the descriptions.
Curvedraw (Stuffit archive)
Grglflx (Stuffit archive)
Supermarket (Stuffit archive)
These programs were written a long time ago in versions of of Basic. Except for Hansa, the Macintosh versions do not run on my (OS9) Mac; I haven't tried the Dos versions. The archives include source code.