Bertil Gotthard Ohlin, 1899-1979, was a Swedish economist, politician and Professor of Economics at the University of Copenhagen and at the Stockholm School of Economics. Along with the British economist James Meade, he received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1977, for their significant addition to the development of the theory of international trade and international capital movements.
Ohlin’s main contribution to the economic theory is found in his book “Interregional and International Trade”, 1933, in which he modernizes the theory of international trade and builds on a previous theorem belonging to Eli Heckscher, that has, ever since, been known as the Heckscher-Ohlin model. This model derives from David Ricardo‘s theory of comparative advantage (known as Ricardian trade theory). Its core idea is that each country will specialize in producing those products for which it has better factor endowment. This model predicts and explains the patterns and flows of international trade. However, this model would result to be proven incorrect by the Leontief paradox, nevertheless stimulating new contributions to explain it.
In the macroeconomics field, Ohlin less well known theories are also of great interest. He studied ways of stimulating and cutting demand throughout business cycles depending on the needs of the economy. His studies were a prelude to J. M. Keynes’ works.
Ohlin became the leader of the Liberal People´s Party from 1944 to 1967, being the main opposition party at that time, against the Social Democrat Government. During 1944 and 1945 he was appointed as Minister of Commerce for the wartime government.