Identifying Foreign Suppliers in U.S. Merchandise Import Transactions
47 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 01, 2015
The availability of international trade transactions data capturing individual relationships between buyers and suppliers permits the answering of numerous new questions governing the economic activity of traders. In this paper, we explore the reliability of two-sided firm trade transactions data sourced from the United States by comparing the number of foreign suppliers from U.S. merchandise import transaction data to origin-country data. We find that the statistic derived from the origin-country data, on average, tends to be 20 percent lower than using the raw U.S. data. Guided by this finding, we propose and implement a set of methods that are capable of aligning the counts more closely from these two different data sources. Overall, our analysis presents broad support for the use of U.S. merchandise import transactions data to study buyer-supplier relationships in international trade.
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