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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.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2011-10.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2011-10
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  1. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  2. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
  3. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2008. "Specialization across varieties and North-South competition," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00270494, HAL.
  4. Julien Martin, 2010. "Markups, Quality and Transport Costs," Working Papers 2010-17, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Bastos, Paulo & Silva, Joana, 2010. "The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 99-111, November.
  6. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 5-49, 01.
  7. Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2010. "BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version," Working Papers 2010-23, CEPII research center.
  8. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2007. "Specialisation across Varieties within Products and North-South Competition," Working Papers 2007-06, CEPII research center.
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