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Harmonization of product classifications: A consistent time series of economic trade activities

Christoph Baumgartner (), Stjepan Srhoj and Janette Walde

Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck

Abstract: Firm-product data provide information for various research questions in international trade or innovation economics. However, working with this data requires harmonizing product classifications consistently over time to avoid internal validity issues. The researcher must consider product code changes in the classification systems over the observation period. Harmonization is required because classification systems like the EU classifications Combined Nomenclature (CN) for goods or the Prodcom for the production of manufactured goods undergo several changes. We have addressed this problem and developed an approach to harmonize product codes. This approach tracks product codes from 1995 to 2022 for CN and 2001 to 2021 for Prodcom. Additional years can be conveniently updated. We provide the harmonized product codes for CN and Prodcom in the selected period's first (or last) year. Our approach is summarized in an easy-to-use R package so that researchers can consistently track product codes for their period. We demonstrate the importance of harmonization using the micro-level trade data for Croatia as a case study. Our approach facilitates working with firm-product data, allowing the analysis of important research questions.

Keywords: concordance; CN; HS; Prodcom; BEC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C55 C81 F14 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25
Date: 2022-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int
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