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Issue Q4 2011  
The Trade Unit Values database  
Antoine Berthou
Charlotte Emlinger
Trade unit values are commonly used as proxies for trade prices in empirical research in international economics. Existing datasets providing international trade unit values for a large number of countries typically suffer from a number of statistical biases, due to the aggregation of unit values and the harmonization of quantity information. These biases reduce the reliability of unit values as a proxy for trade prices. This paper presents the Trade Unit Values dataset, a new database developed to circumvent these statistical issues. Bilateral trade unit values are computed at a very high level of disaggregation before aggregation into Harmonized-System 6-digits categories to allow for cross-country comparability. Our processing strategy improves the differentiation of trade prices within product categories, as compared to existing worldwide datasets. A simple econometric analysis shows that unit values in our database are well explained by economic aggregates. Abstract

Unit Value ; Trade Price ; International Trade ; Keywords
E3 ; F1 ; F4 ; JEL classification
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