By: Ryan Coleman
The process of linking trade data to business statistics is the nuts and bolts of creating our Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies. You may already be familiar with our Profile (just in case you aren’t: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/edb/2009/index.html) and the data that are available in it, but did you know that there are equivalent data available for over a dozen other countries too? The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conveniently collects these data from each participating country, but only after each country standardizes them to classifications set by the OECD.
The OECD aims to foster international economic development. One of the ways it does this is by providing a forum for governments to knowledge-share. On top of collecting and showcasing data, the OECD hosts multiple conferences every year where participating countries can discuss all the aspects of linking trade data to business statistics. The main topics that are focused on are methodologies of linking the data as well as the best ways that this type of data can be used for the formation of trade policy.
Apples to Apples
An essential way for tools like this to be more effective is to make sure that participating parties have apples-to-apples data to compare. While the OECD offers all sorts of data, which you can look at by clicking the hyperlink at the end of this blog, the exhibit that includes data similar to the Profile is their Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC) tables.
Here’s an example of data from one of these tables: