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Issue Q3 2014  
New revealed comparative advantage index: Dataset and empirical distribution  
Elsa Leromain
Gianluca Orefice
This paper presents a new database of revealed comparative advantage (RCA) measures based on the recent index of RCA proposed by Costinot et al. (2012). This new index conceptually fits the ex ante and country-sector specific nature of the Ricardian comparative advantage better than the traditional Balassa index. The Balassa index, indeed, being computed directly on observed export flows, does not distinguish between exporter, importer and sector specific factors affecting export flows. The RCA index proposed by Costinot et al. (2012) derives from a micro-foundation of the Ricardian model and, being an econometrically based measure, is able to fit the ex ante nature of Ricardian comparative advantage. Costinot et al. (2012) compute the RCA for a sample of 21 OECD countries and 13 industries (ISIC) in 1997. In this paper, we extend the RCA calculations to the period 1995–2010 up to a HS4 digit product classification for manufacturing (i.e. 1018 products). We also present some empirical distribution features of the new index in comparison with the traditional Balassa index. Abstract

Revealed comparative advantage ; Ricardian model ; Exports ; Keywords
F11 ; F14 ; JEL classification
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