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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "Concording U.S. Harmonized System categories over time," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-16
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    1. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    2. Andrew Bernard & J Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2009. "The Margins of U.S. Trade (Long Version)," Working Papers 09-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Pierce, Justin R., 2011. "Plant-level responses to antidumping duties: Evidence from U.S. manufacturers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 222-233.
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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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