BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 VersionAbstract :
This paper documents the construction of BACI, our international trade database, which covers more than 200 countries and 5,000 products, between 1994 and 2007. New approaches have been developed to reconcile data reported by almost 150 countries to the United Nations Statistics Division, collated via COMTRADE. When both exporting and importing countries report to Comtrade, we have two different figures for the same flow, so it is useful to reconcile these into a single figure. To do this, firstly, as import values are reported CIF (cost, insurance and freight) while exports are reported FOB (free on board), transport and insurance rates have to be estimated and removed from import values. We regress the observed CIF/FOB ratios for a given flow on gravity variables and a product-specific world median unit value. In a second step we evaluate the reliability of countries reporting. We decompose the absolute value of the ratios of mirror flows using a (weighted) variance analysis. These measures of the reliability of reported data are used as weights in the reconciliation of each bilateral trade flow which is reported twice. Taking advantage of this bilateral information on each flow, we end up with a large coverage of countries and more reliable data, especially in terms of unit-values. BACI is freely available online to users of COMTRADE database, in different product classifications.
Keywords : International trade | Trade costs | CIF/FOB | Trade data reconciliation
JEL : F10, F14, F13, C80