CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale


The new RCA database contains revealed comparative advantage measures (RCA) obtained by using the methodology suggested by Costinot et al. (2012) - adjusted for a proper worldwide comparison of indexes.

The index is provided for 20 countries over the period 1995-2010 at two different product disaggregation levels (HS-2 and HS-4). Each database contains 5 variables:

  • country is the country of interest (i.e. the exporter country);
  • isocode is the ISO 3166-1 numeric code of the country;
  • year is the year dimension;
  • hs2 or hs4 indicates the sector of interest (respectively HS-2 and HS-4);
  • RCA is the index of revealed comparative advantage.

Reference document to cite: Leromain, E. and G. Orefice (2014) "New Revealed Comparative Advantage Index: dataset and empirical distribution", International Economics, 2014, vol 139(3), pp. 48-70.

Person in charge & contact: Gianluca Orefice, rcacepii.fr

Licence: Etalab 2.0



The RCA index is based on econometric technique discussed in Leromain and Orefice (2014). All in all, it is a three steps procedure:
  1. First, we estimate country pair-product specific export flows using exporter-product and importer-product fixed effects.
  2. Second, we use the coefficients associated with the exporter-product fixed effects to recover a productivity parameter (which is then country-product specific)
  3. Third, we normalize the previous productivity parameter to the sake of easy interpretation.