Thanks mrmickle1. I've finished the first time period of 40 (I might reduce it to 30), and the Gnu Octave program functioned well. However, it took me more than an hour to transcribe the data into my excel file, and as the data list gets longer, its only going to get harder to transcribe the data. One big advantage Gnu Octave has over Excel is that its easier to spot the bugs and mistakes. Its hard looking into an excel cell and figure out what is what. My final program in excel was just a mess. I discovered many mistakes by writing the program on gnu octave. Programming for the second period will be somewhat more difficult than the first period, because now I'll have to account for depreciation and build up of capital and human capital stock. However, once the second period is finished, the second period program can serve as a template for the remaining periods.
In my test run for just the first period, I instructed the program to do up to 100 iterations until one of the aggregate variables changes by less than .1% between successive approximations. In the test run, it took three iterations for convergence to occur. However, I'm worried that convergence will be a lot tougher to get once stock quantities begin to accumulate. During the iteration, my first guess at the value of the variable is done by ignoring certain effects that make the calculation complicated. Because in the early periods, there is little accumulation of stock variables, the initial guess is quite good. Once we get in the later period, a guess too far from the actual value may not result in convergence. I suppose, I could learn how to do more complicated iteration processes.
Anyway, what downloads do I need to use VBA on Windows 8 and Office 2010? Is there a user manual? I've just spent two weeks learning Gnu Octave, do you think its worth it to change programs again? How easy is it to learn VBA? I can see myself doing 40+ hours of work just to transcribe the gnu octave data output into excel for a given test run. Thus, just conducting three or four runs with different parameters could take weeks. In a similar but simpler program in excel, I was able to do 20+ runs per day.