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The Effects of Low-Valued Transactions on the Quality of U.S. International Export Estimates, 1994-1998


  • Charles Ian Mead

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)


This paper uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) to examine the effects that a growth of low-valued transactions likely has on the quality of export estimates provided in the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (FT-990) series. These transactions, valued at less than $2,500, do not legally require the filing of export declarations. As a result, they are often not captured in the administrative records data used to construct FT-990 estimates. By comparing industry-level estimates created from the ASM to related FT-990 estimates, this paper estimates that the undercounting of low-valued transactions in the FT-990 export series increases by roughly $30 billion over the period of 1994-1997. It also finds that regression analysis provides little insight into the undercounting issue as results are primarily driven by industries whose contributions to total manufacturing exports are small.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Ian Mead, 2004. "The Effects of Low-Valued Transactions on the Quality of U.S. International Export Estimates, 1994-1998," BEA Papers 0044, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:bea:papers:0044

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Haltiwanger & Steven J Davis & Scott Schuh, 1991. "Published Versus Sample Statistics From The ASM: Implications For The LRD," Working Papers 91-1, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General


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