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Information Sources

Modeling:  Numerous books about Excel and about economic simulation models are available.  You can begin a search for information with the following Internet/library sources:

Frontline Systems Inc. This firm developed the Excel solver. Their home page is a good source of information on use of the Excel solver (beyond the Excel documentation).  A larger and faster solver can be purchased if you are developing very large models (e.g. those with over 100 markets to clear).  VORSIM operations work normally for large models that require this “power” solver.

Green, J., S. Bullen, R. Bovey and M. Alexander.  Excel 2007 VBA, Programmer’s Reference.  Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana.  A reference work for Excel 2007 programmers.

Walkenback, John.  Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Formulas.  Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana.  In addition, bookstores have many other excellent reference books covering various releases of Excel.  Current information on Excel can be obtained from the Microsoft.

Walkenbach, John. Microsoft Excel 2003 Power Programming with VBA.  Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana.  This is an excellent text on programming Excel applications with VBA for Excel 2003 (VORSIM is written for Excel using VBA – Visual Basic for Applications, the ‘macro’ language for Excel).

Walkenbach, John.  Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Power Programming with VBA.  Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, New Jersey.  VBA programming for Excel 2007.

Walkenbach, John.  Microsoft Office Excel 2010, Power Programming with VBA.  Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, New Jersey.  VBA programming for Excel 2010.

Francois, J. F. and K. A. Reinert, eds. 1997. Applied Methods for Trade Policy Analysis: A HandbookCambridge University Press, September 1997.  This handbook covers a wide range of the model building techniques from traditional partial equilibrium models to CGE (computable general equilibrium) models.  Although the techniques are applied to trade analysis, many of them are applicable to a wider set of problems.

Internet Resources:  There are many resources on the Internet; these are a few to start:

Resources for Economists on the Internet, a Web Page for Economists.  This web page is a comprehensive source of information on the Internet regarding economics.  It has major references on modeling methods, data sources, and professional economists.  It includes links to most of the major data sources and economic modeling groups in the world and is updated regularly by the American Economics Association.

ADR International, Ltd.  This is the web site of a consulting firm that does trade research and analysis, especially for negotiations in the WTO (World Trade Organization).  ADR also does research on foreign investment and economic development issues.   The ADR home page is especially noteworthy for its links to research organizations working with trade and development issues around the world.  In addition, ADR has built large VORSIM world trade models which deal with all traded products and balance of payments in individual countries.

Analyse-it.  Statistical analysis software for Microsoft Excel.  Analyse-it is integrated into Excel and includes multiple regression analysis, anova, chi-square, and many more procedures.  A 30-day evaluation may be downloaded.

Mathtools.net is a technical computing portal for scientific and engineering needs.  It contains useful links for technical computing programmers.

GTAP is the home of a leading world general equilibrium modeling project.

Arlington Virginia Business List contains listings for a wide variety of businesses in the Arlington Virginia and Washington DC area.

Other relevant publications:  Several earlier works provide a background to modeling and analysis in spreadsheets.  Earlier models and efforts are documented.

Roningen, V.O. 1993. Managing Free Trade For Agriculture.  The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, Washington, DC.  This book documents SFAP (a Static world Food and Agricultural world Policy model) and NFAP (a National Food and Agricultural Policy model projecting to 2020), two fairly large models (1200 equations, 2000 variables) put up in VORSIM and included on the VORSIM CD.

Roningen, Vernon O., John Sullivan, and Praveen Dixit. 1991. Documentation of the Static World Policy Simulation (SWOPSIM) Modeling Framework. Washington, DC, Economic Research Service, USDA. Staff Report AGES 9151.  This report documents a model-building framework using an earlier generation of spreadsheet technology.  Many large agricultural trade models were built around the world with this framework.  An 11 country/region, 22 commodity SWOPSIM model (named SWOP) has been converted to the VORSIM framework and comes on the VORSIM CD.  This model's simulation results appear in: How Level is the Playing Field? An Economic Analysis of Agricultural Policy Reforms in Industrial Market Economies, Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 239. Washington, DC: ERS, USDA.

Roningen, Vernon, John Sullivan, Susan Leetmaa, and Denise Gray, 1992.  A 1989 Global Database for the Static World Policy Simulation (SWOPSIM) Modeling Framework, Washington, DC, Economic Research Service, USDA.  Staff Report AGES 9215.  This report documents a set of commodity supply and demand elasticities used in global modeling efforts.  Workbooks containing these elasticities are included on the VORSIM CD.