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BACI: A World Database of International Trade at the Product-level (The 1995-2004 Version)

Gaulier, Guillaume and Zignago, Soledad (2008): BACI: A World Database of International Trade at the Product-level (The 1995-2004 Version). Published in: CEPII Working Paper No. 2010-23

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Abstract

This paper document the construction of BACI, our international trade database covering more than 200 countries and 5,000 products, between 1995 and 2004. Original procedures have been developed to reconcile data reported by almost 150 countries to the United Nations Statistics Division, which disseminate them via COMTRADE. When both exporting and importing countries do report, we have two different figures for the same flow. In order to have a single coherent figure for each bilateral flow, we have need to reconcile them. Firstly, as import values are reported CIF (cost, insurance and freight) and the exports are reported FOB (free on board), CIF costs have to be estimated and removed from imports values to compute FOB import values. We regress the unit-values ratios reported for a given elementary flow by gravity variables: bilateral distance, dummies for adjacent or landlocked countries and for years, and world median unit-value for each product category (we consider a non-linear relationship between CIF costs and distance by introducing also the square distance). As expected, we find that CIF costs increase with distance and decrease with unit value. The second step is an evaluation of the reliability of country reporting, based on the declaration distances among partners. In order to evaluate this quality of countries reporting (as exporters or importers) we decompose the absolute value of the ratios of mirror flows using a (weighted) variance analysis, and an index is build for every country. Finally, the qualities of declaration are used as weights in the reconciliation of each bilateral trade flow twice reported. Taking advantage of this double information on each flow, we end up en plus?? with a large coverage of countries not reporting at a given level of the product classification. BACI provides the most disaggregated international reconciled values of bilateral flows, for the largest possible number of countries and years, with a special care in the treatment of unit-values. BACI is freely available to users of COMTRADE database in our webpage: http://www.cepii.fr/anglaisgraph/bdd/baci.htm

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