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Towards Harmonised Bilateral Trade Data for Inter-Country Input-Output Analyses: Statistical Issues


  • Dong Guo
  • Colin Webb


  • Norihiko Yamano



Understanding the increasingly complex structures of international trade is an important concern for policy makers, as deepening economic integration is characterised by the growing trade in intermediate goods and services between countries. Analyses based on international input-output tables can help address trade-related policy issues as well as providing other insights into the socio-economic and environmental impacts of globalisation. To link national input-output tables in order to carry out interdependent analyses across countries requires a consistent set of harmonised international bilateral trade data that ideally reflects recent output by the economic activities in question. This paper discusses the challenges faced when attempting to construct appropriate bilateral trade matrices using annual data collected by the OECD and United Nations, as well as national sources. While the main focus is on the increasing presence of “re-exports” in reported exports of goods data, this paper also addresses some other statistical and data issues that need to be considered, such as treatment of confidential (or “unallocated”) trade in goods; trade in secondhand goods, scrap metal and other waste; differences in trade statistics across international statistical agencies; and the additional problems encountered when converting product-based trade data to industry-based classifications. Issues concerning Balance of Payments data, the main source for trade in services, are also addressed. Vers des données harmonisées sur les échanges bilatéraux pour l'analyse internationale des entrées-sorties : Problèmes statistiques Comprendre les structures de plus en plus complexes du commerce international constitue un enjeu important pour les responsables de l'action publique, dans la mesure où le renforcement de l'intégration économique se caractérise par des échanges croissants de services ainsi que de biens intermédiaires entre pays. Les analyses réalisées à partir de tableaux d'entrées-sorties internationaux peuvent apporter des éléments de réponse aux questions de politique publique liées aux échanges, et fournir d'autres enseignements sur les répercussions socioéconomiques et environnementales de la mondialisation. Pour analyser les relations d’interdépendance entre pays, il est nécessaire de coupler les tableaux d’entrées-sorties nationaux; pour ce faire, il faut disposer d’un ensemble de données harmonisées cohérentes portant sur les échanges internationaux et correspondant, dans l’idéal, à la production récente des activités économiques. Ce document examine les difficultés rencontrées pour construire des tableaux de commerce bilatéral adéquats, à partir des bases de données annuelles sur le commerce international gérées par l’OCDE et les Nations Unies, ou d’informations provenant de sources nationales. Ce papier traite principalement de la présence croissante des « réexportations » dans les exportations de marchandises recensées et il soulève également d’autres problèmes statistiques, ou liés aux données, dont il faut tenir compte. Il s’agit notamment des différences de données du commerce entre les divers organismes statistiques internationaux, du traitement des échanges des biens confidentiels (ou « non attribués »), du commerce des biens d’occasion, de débris de métaux et autres déchets, ainsi que des problèmes liés à la conversion des données d’échange par produit en données sectorielles. Ce document traite aussi des problèmes liés aux échanges de services provenant de la Balance des Paiements.

Suggested Citation

  • Dong Guo & Colin Webb & Norihiko Yamano, 2009. "Towards Harmonised Bilateral Trade Data for Inter-Country Input-Output Analyses: Statistical Issues," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2009/4, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2009/4-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Misato Sato, 2014. "Embodied Carbon In Trade: A Survey Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 831-861, December.
    2. Wiedmann, Thomas, 2009. "A review of recent multi-region input-output models used for consumption-based emission and resource accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-222, December.
    3. Kiichiro Fukasaku & Bo Meng & Norihiko Yamano, 2011. "Recent Developments in Asian Economic Integration: Measuring Indicators of Trade Integration and Fragmentation," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2011/3, OECD Publishing.
    4. Matthieu Bussière & Giovanni Callegari & Fabio Ghironi & Giulia Sestieri & Norihiko Yamano, 2013. "Estimating Trade Elasticities: Demand Composition and the Trade Collapse of 2008-2009," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 118-151, July.

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