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Sectoral Price and Quantity Indexes of Argentine Foreign Trade


  • Florencia Melisa Fares

    (Universidad Nacional de San Martín)

  • Guido Zack

    (Universidad Nacional de San Martín)

  • Ricardo Gabriel Martínez

    (Universidad de Buenos Aires)


Argentina does not have a sufficiently complete and developed system of sectoral statistical data on foreign trade. This paper tries to make a contribution showing a methodology to calculate foreign trade indexes, based on unit values obtained from Foreign Trade Consultation System of INDEC. This methodology is applied to the quarterly data of Argentine sectoral imports and exports and its accuracy is shown from the comparison with price indexes published by INDEC (aggregate level) and Brazilian statistical institute (sectoral level). Our indexes show a correlation above 80% and variability close to the benchmark in almost all sectors. Finally, we analyzed the contribution of each sector to foreign trade growth during 1996-2016 using the estimated quantity indexes, something impossible to obtain without the estimated price indexes. Both real exports and imports show a weak growth pace of 2.3% and 2.4% per year, respectively. The leading sectors are Foodstuff industry and Agricultural products in exports, and Motor vehicles and Chemical products in imports for the whole period

Suggested Citation

  • Florencia Melisa Fares & Guido Zack & Ricardo Gabriel Martínez, 2020. "Sectoral Price and Quantity Indexes of Argentine Foreign Trade," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 93, pages 297-328, Julio-Dic.
  • Handle: RePEc:lde:journl:y:2020:i:93:p:297-328
    DOI: 10.17533/udea.le.n93a338277

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Mick Silver, 2007. "Do Unit Value Export, Import, and Terms of Trade Indices Represent or Misrepresent Price Indices?," IMF Working Papers 2007/121, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
    4. Juan Carlos Hallak & Federico Bernini & Julia Gonzalez & Alejandro Vicondoa, 2018. "The Micro-D Classification: A New Approach to Identifying Differentiated Exports," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 59-85, May.
    5. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
    6. Garavito, Aarón & López, David & Montes, Enrique, 2013. "Índices de valor unitario y quantum del comercio exterior colombiano," Revista Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, CIE, issue 80, pages 9-47, May.
    7. David M. Byrne & Brian K. Kovak & Ryan Michaels, 2017. "Quality-Adjusted Price Measurement: A New Approach with Evidence from Semiconductors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 330-342, May.
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    More about this item


    foreign trade; Argentina; price indexes methodology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other


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