Invisible Trade – Test run

We had successfully run a pilot test for the teaching case invisible trade. The objectives of the pilot test are the following:

  1. Examining the validity of the designated games
  2. Testing whether the games successfully deliver the main intuition to the subjects.

The teaching case consists 4 parts:



Tutor introduces the situation and report the statistical number of current Hong Kong trade.


Game Section

There are two main intuitions delivered by the Game 1 and Game 2. They are the economics definition of value and the difference between traditional trade and offshore trade respectively.


Game 1

Price and Value

In Game 1, subjects are grouped into 4 teams and role-play as a trade/deal decision maker to consider the respective cost and potential profit and choose the highest value of trade which was posted on the blackboard. after selecting a trade/deal, teams will be given a mission. Reward will be granted only if the given mission is completed. In order to stimulate the constraint in practice such as professional knowledge, connection and time, missions are assigned with different difficulties with respect to the value of the trade. Through the repetition of decision making and the competition between teams, subjects should soon understand Game 1’s main intuition — The actual value of trade is not merely about quantity or price but their multiplicand product (PxQ).


Game 2

Traditional and Offshore Trade

In Game 2, subjects are again grouped into 4 teams and role-play as a trade/deal decision maker, the ultimate aim remains as earning the highest total value by selecting the available trades/deals. However, Game 2 is slightly more complicated than Game 1. Firstly, subjects are required to further select one type of trading methods between traditional trade and offshore trade. Secondly, trade methods have respective set of conditions which may affect the profitability of the deal/trade, since trade completion is conditional, one may occur penalty for failing to fully meet the trade completion condition. Similar to Game 1, subjects are also given missions to stimulate the process of completing the deal in reality. By repeating calculation, subject should realise different trade method has a significant impact on trade cost which may further affect the profitability of the deal.



Tutor reiterates the game main intuition so as to strength subject impression. tutor will also present the Hong Kong’s role in international trade, the way of transportation for different value of goods, compare the current trade patterns to the past and further discuss the Hong Kong trade situation in the introduction.



The pilot test is successful since the games are completed without major disruptions. Subjects have satisfactory understanding of the games’ intuition by further explanation. We appreciate all participants of the test run.