IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/1501.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are partner-country statistics useful for estimating"missing"trade data?

Author

Listed:
  • Yeats, Alexander J.

Abstract

Because many developing countries fail to report trade statistics to the United Nations, there has been an interest in using partner-country data to fill these information gaps. The author used partner-country statistics for 30 developing countries to"estimate"actual (concealed) trade data and analyzed the magnitude of the resulting errors. The results indicate that partner-country data are unreliable even for estimating trade in broad aggregate product groups such as foodstuffs, fuels, or manufactures. Moreover, tests show that the reliability of partner-country statistics degenerates sharply as one moves to more finely distinguished trade categories (lower-level SITCs). Equally disturbing, about one-quarter of the partner-country comparisons take the wrong sign. That is, one country's reported free-on-board (f.o.b.) exports exceed the reported cost-insurance-freight (c.i.f.) value of partners'imports. Aside from product composition, tests show that partner-country data are equally inaccurate for estimating the direction of trade. Why are partner-country data so unreliable for approximating"missing"data? Evidence shows: 1) problems in reporting or processing COMTRADE data; 2) valuation differences (f.o.b. versus c.i.f.) for imports and exports; 3) problems relating to entrepot trade, or exports originating in export processing zones; 4) problems associated with exchange-rate changes; 5) intentional or unintentional misclassification of products; 6) efforts to"conceal"trade data for proprietary reasons; and 7) financial incentives to purposely falsify trade data. The author concludes that efforts to improve the general quality, or availability, of trade statistics using partner-country data holds little or no promise, although this information may be useful in specific cases where the trade statistics of a certain country are known to incorporate major errors. Significant progress in ugrading the accuracy, and coverage, of trade statistics can be achieved only by improving each country's procedures for data collection.

Suggested Citation

  • Yeats, Alexander J., 1995. "Are partner-country statistics useful for estimating"missing"trade data?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1501, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1501
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/08/01/000009265_3961019141252/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yeats, Alexander J, 1978. "On the Accuracy of Partner Country Trade Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 40(4), pages 341-361, November.
    2. Sheikh, Munir A, 1974. "Underinvoicing of Imports in Pakistan," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 36(4), pages 287-296, November.
    3. Robert E. Lipsey & Merle Yahr Weiss, 1974. "The Structure of Ocean Transport Charges," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 1, Number 1, pages 162-193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Shintaro Hamanaka & Aiken Tafgar, 2010. "Usable Data for Economic Policymaking and Research? The Case of Lao PDR’s Trade Statistics," ARTNeT Working Papers 87, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    2. Janse, Gerben, 12. "Forest Products Trade Flow Discrepancies--Unintentional and International Errors," Scandinavian Forest Economics: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics, Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics, issue 40, May.
    3. Joel CARIOLLE & Cyril CHALENDARD & Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Bertrand LAPORTE, 2016. "Décloisonner l’analyse des données pour appuyer la modernisation des douanes : une illustration à partir du Gabon," Working Papers 201618, CERDI.
    4. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2010. "Do elites benefit from democracy and foreign aid in developing countries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 115-124, July.
    5. Mitsuru Igami, 2015. "Market Power in International Commodity Trade: The Case of Coffee," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 225-248, June.
    6. Cubinar, Gloria A. & De Guzman, Estela T., 2008. "Exploratory Study on Selected Philippine Agricultural Commodity Import Statistics vis-à-vis Export Statistics of the Exporting Countries," Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), vol. 5(2), pages 1-27, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Céline Carrère & Christopher Grigoriou, 2014. "Can Mirror Data Help To Capture Informal International Trade?," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 65, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    2. Temesgen Worku & Juan P. Mendoza & Jacco L. Wielhouwer, 2016. "Tariff evasion in sub-Saharan Africa: the influence of corruption in importing and exporting countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(4), pages 741-761, August.
    3. Antonio Tena Junguito, 1992. "Las estadísticas históricas del comercio internacional: fiabilidad y comparabilidad," Estudios de Historia Económica, Banco de España, number 24.
    4. Joel CARIOLLE & Cyril CHALENDARD & Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Bertrand LAPORTE, 2017. "Going beyond analysis of internal data to support customs modernization: A case study in Gabon," Working Papers 201723, CERDI.
    5. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Gotcha! A Profile of Smuggling in International Trade," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_026, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    6. Joel CARIOLLE & Cyril CHALENDARD & Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Bertrand LAPORTE, 2016. "Décloisonner l’analyse des données pour appuyer la modernisation des douanes : une illustration à partir du Gabon," Working Papers 201618, CERDI.
    7. Robert E. Lipsey, 1999. "The Location and Characteristics of U.S. Affiliates in Asia," NBER Working Papers 6876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rafat MAHMOOD & Eatzaz AHMAD, 2015. "Measurement Of Import Smuggling In Pakistan," Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Applied Economics Research Centre, vol. 25(2), pages 135-159.
    9. Charles D. Brummitt & Andres Gomez-Lievano & Ricardo Hausmann & Matthew H. Bonds, 2018. "Machine-learned patterns suggest that diversification drives economic development," Papers 1812.03534, arXiv.org.
    10. Mihalis Chasomeris, 2009. "On The (Mis)Measurement Of International Transport Costs," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(1), pages 148-161, March.
    11. Guillaume Daudin, 2003. "La logistique de la mondialisation," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 87(4), pages 409-435.
    12. Mohammad Farhad & Michael Jetter & Abu Siddique & Andrew Williams, 2018. "Misreported Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 7150, CESifo.
    13. Nitsch, Volker, 2011. "Trade Mispricing and Illicit Flows," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 77397, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    14. Zafar Mahmood & Riaz Mahmood, 1993. "Under-invoicing of Imports: A Case Study of Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 1141-1155.
    15. Yeats, Alexander J., 1989. "Do Caribbean exporters pay higher freight costs?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 244, The World Bank.
    16. Azita Amjadi & L. Alan Winters & Alexander Yeats, 1995. "Transport Costs and Economic Integration in the Americas," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 131(III), pages 465-488, September.
    17. Hecht, Joy E., 1997. "Impacts of tariff escalation on the environment: Literature review and synthesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1701-1716, October.
    18. Yeats, Alexander J., 1991. "Can preshipment inspection offset noncompetitive pricing of development countries'imports? The evidence from Madagascar," Policy Research Working Paper Series 610, The World Bank.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1501. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.