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Concording U.S. Harmonized System categories over time

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  • Justin R. Pierce
  • Peter K. Schott

Abstract

Monitoring changes to product classification systems is an important component of a wide range of empirical research. In this paper we develop an algorithm for concording periodic revisions to the ten-digit Harmonized System (HS) codes used by U.S. statistical agencies to categorize international trade since 1989. We use this algorithm to construct the first comprehensive concordance of HS codes over time, and show how this concordance can be extended to incorporate future revisions. We then characterize the extent of HS-code changes since 1989 and discuss how controlling for these revisions is critical for understanding the growth of U.S. trade. Lastly, we highlight the general applicability of the algorithm to other national and international product classification systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-16.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-16

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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2009. "The Margins of US Trade (Long Version)," CEPR Discussion Papers 7156, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Justin R. Pierce, 2011. "Plant-level responses to antidumping duties: evidence from U.S. manufacturers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Pinelopi Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," Working Papers 1179, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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