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HECKSCHER-OHLIN MODEL: A model of international trade developed by Eli Heckscher and Bertil Ohlin, with significant contributions by Paul Samuelson, that relies on the notion that comparative advantage is based on relative natural resource endowments. A nation with large oil reserves will, for example, have a comparative advantage in oil production over another nation with fertile soil, which will have a comparative advantage in agricultural production.

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AXIOM:

A basic precondition or assumption underlying a theory. Axioms are basic, unverifiable world view assumptions--including personal beliefs, political views, and cultural values--that form the foundation of a theory.
An axiom is a statement or notion that is unprovable, but presumed to be true. Axioms cannot be verified directly with real world data, and as such are largely accepted on faith. They comprise the world view of a scientific theory. Many axioms reflect religious beliefs, political ideologies, and views about the basic nature of humanity and the universe. Belief in a supreme, omnipotent, omniscience being is one such axiom. The notion that people are basically good (or bad) is another. The presumption that the universe abides by cause-and-effect relations is a key axiom for all of science.

While axioms cannot be verified directly with real world data, as is the case for hypotheses, they can be "checked" indirectly. Suppose, for example, dozens of theories that employ the same axiom generate hundreds of hypotheses that are refuted by real world data. The problem might rest with this axiom. If this axiom is then replaced with an alternative, and the subsequent hypotheses are supported by data, then the validity of the original axiom is even more suspect.

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