CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
The Trade Unit Values Database


Antoine Berthou
Charlotte Emlinger

 Abstract :
Trade unit values are commonly used as proxies for trade prices in empirical research in international economics. Existing datasets providing international trade unit values for a large number of countries typically suffer from a number of statistical biases, due to the aggregation of unit values and the harmonization of quantity information. These biases reduce the reliability of unit values as a proxy for trade prices. This paper presents the Trade Unit Values dataset, a new database developed to circumvent these statistical issues. Bilateral trade unit values are computed at a very high level of disaggregation before aggregation into Harmonized-System 6-digits categories to allow for cross-country comparability. Our processing strategy improves the differentiation of trade prices within product categories, as compared to existing worldwide datasets. A simple econometric analysis shows that unit values in our database are well explained by economic aggregates.

 Keywords : UNIT VALUE | TRADE PRICE | INTERNATIONAL TRADE

 JEL : E3, F1, F4
CEPII Working Paper
N°2011-10, April 2011

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 Domaines d'expertise

Commerce & Mondialisation
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