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Utilizing the Multiple Mirror Technique to Assess the Quality of Cambodian Trade Statistics




This paper assesses the quality of Cambodia’s export and import statistics by comparing them with the statistics of its trade partners. The paper identifies inaccuracies in trade statistics caused by two types of misclassifications: commodity misclassification and direction misclassification. We will thoroughly examine products that are misclassified as different (but similar) products as well as goods to or from a particular country that are misclassified as goods to or from another country. A single bilateral mirror comparison, which is common in the existing literature, does not tell us much about the manner in which misclassifications are committed. Even if we observe a large discrepancy in certain traded commodities between two sides, we cannot immediately conclude which side has generated the inaccurate statistic. In order to overcome this problem, the paper will use the multiple mirror comparison technique. By comparing the results of various bilateral mirror analyses of trade statistics, we can identify which direction and commodity misclassifications have been committed by Cambodia.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamanaka, Shintaro, 2011. "Utilizing the Multiple Mirror Technique to Assess the Quality of Cambodian Trade Statistics," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 88, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0088

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Javorcik, Beata S. & Narciso, Gaia, 2008. "Differentiated products and evasion of import tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 208-222, December.
    2. David Hummels & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2006. "Are Matched Partner Trade Statistics a Usable Measure of Transportation Costs?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 69-86, February.
    3. Basim Makhoul & Samuel Otterstrom, 1998. "Exploring the accuracy of international trade statistics," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(12), pages 1603-1616.
    4. Pomfret, Richard & Sourdin, Patricia, 2009. "Have Asian trade agreements reduced trade costs?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 255-268, May.
    5. Zafar Mahmood & Mohammad Azhar, 2001. "On Overinvoicing of Exports in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 40(3), pages 173-185.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tanaka, Kiyoyasu, 2017. "Trade and investment in Cambodia," IDE Discussion Papers 667, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

    More about this item


    quality of trade statistics; misclassification; smuggling; multiple mirror technique; c.i.f./f.o.b. ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • C46 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Specific Distributions
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


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