CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
What are the different products of the MAcMap family?     

Basically, two products are associated to the MAcMap denomination:
  • The MAcMap “Tariff Lines level” database, yearly updated, sold and managed by the ITC. See https://www.macmap.org/
  • The MAcMap-HS6 database. It is an harmonized version of the previous one. It is built and updated by the CEPII and made available upon request for academic work.  

What are the main operations applied to the raw protection data?

If a large part of the job deals with harmonisation and aberrant values hunting, some important tasks are performed in order to obtain the MAcMap-HS6 distribution starting from the raw data (at the tariff line level). In particular:
  • Collection of duties is done by ITC (agreements with WTO countries, purchasing data, or gathering public information made available online by countries – e.g. TARIC for the EU etc.).
  • ITC processes Tariff Lines data with a method developed by CEPII and ITC to build an analytical database useful for academic research and quantitative evaluations of tariff trade policies:
    • Management of the mixed tariffs, i.e. including operator such as MAX and MIN between Ad Valorem and Specific tariffs. In these cases, the Ad Valorem component is always selected;
    • From the tariff lines level to the HS6 (first stage of common nomenclature) a simple average is performed across products belonging to the same HS6 code;
    • Check implementation of RTAs and preferences.
  • CEPII then processes HS6 data:
    • Detection and conversion in a single HS6 revision for a given year;
    • Conversion of per unit duties in tons;
    • Computation of relevant unit values to convert specific component in Equivalent Ad Valorem duties;
  • Specific treatment of the TRQs (so far, it concerns 2001, 2004, 2007).

Does MAcMap-HS6 give an exhaustive description of the worldwide pattern of protection?

MAcMap-HS6 provides an exhaustive description (around 190 importers, 240 exporters and more than 5,000 products).

What does the “Reference Groups” concept implies for the MAcMap-HS6 dataset?

The CEPII’s works on applied protection data rely on the concept of “Reference Groups” for two independent elements:
  • For the construction of the dataset and the computation of unit values. Countries are gathered in “Exporter Reference Group” in order to determine the unit values for the conversion of specific tariffs. It is a compromise between bilateral unit values (to be used if they were not so noisy due to measurement mistakes) and world unit values (more robust but neglecting the discriminatory impact of specific tariffs on low prices exporters);
  • For the aggregation methodology since we propose an alternative weighting scheme to the classic trade weighted one in order to limit the endogeneity problem. So, we do not take bilateral trade flows but for a given product the trade between the exporter and the Reference Group of the Importer.

So, for a user of the MAcMap-HS6 dataset, the Reference groups approach has an impact on the definition of ERGUV (unit value). The use of MAcMap-HS6 Reference Groups weights for aggregation is purely optional.

It is noteworthy to remember that the Reference groups are not built on ad-hoc criteria but using a clustering methodology based on Purchase-Parity-Power Income per capita and degree of openness in order to gather countries that should present similarities in trade patterns.

Please note that the Reference groups are the ones computed for the first version of MAcMap-HS6 (i.e. 2001).
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