Geographical Deviations in Foreign Trade Statistics: A Study into European Trade with Latin American Countries, 1925
24 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2005
Date Written: July 1, 2005
We have analyzed the spatial accuracy of European foreign trade statistics compared to Latin American. We have also included USA's data because of the importance of this country in Latin American trade. We have developed a method for mapping discrepancies between exporters and importers, trying to isolate systematic spatial deviations. Although our results don't allow a unique explanation, they present some interesting clues to the distribution channels in the Latin American Continent as well as some spatial deviations for statistics in individual countries. Connecting our results with the literature specialized in the accuracy of foreign trade statistics; we can revisit Morgernstern (1963) as well as Federico and Tena (1991). Morgernstern had had a really pessimistic view on the reliability of this statistic source, but his main alert was focused on the trade balances, not in gross export or import values. Federico and Tena (1991) have demonstrated how accuracy increases by aggregation, geographical and of product at the same time. But they still have a pessimistic view with relation to distribution questions, remarking that perhaps it will be more accurate to use import sources in this latest case. We have stated that the data set coming from foreign trade statistics for a sample in 1925, being it exporters or importers, it's a valuable tool for geography of trade patterns, although in some specific cases it needs some spatial adjustments.
Keywords: Economic geography, statistical accuracy, foreign trade statistics
JEL Classification: N01, N70, N76
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation