Researchers release new version of global economic database
The Center for Global Trade Analysis based at Purdue University released the latest version of its GTAP Data Base of worldwide economic transactions Tuesday (May19).
The ninth version incorporates global economic flows for the year 2011, the most recent available year for such data, while retaining important data from 2004 and 2007. A new version is released every five years.
"This is a critical tool for governments and economic decision-makers around the globe," said Dominique van der Mensbrugghe (pronounced MENZ'-broo-gah), director of GTAP.
The data influences policymaking on regional and global trade and environmental agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and international efforts to limit global greenhouse gas emissions, noted Thomas Hertel, executive director of GTAP. It also is used by international institutions, the private sector and economists at universities and research institutions.
"Given that it also includes physical datasets like energy volumes and emissions, this database has been increasingly popular among engineers and scientists across the world," Hertel said.
The only one of its kind in the world, GTAP is a global network of researchers and policymakers, with more than 12,500 members from over 160 countries who analyze international policy issues. Data covers a range of topics such as bilateral trade patterns and production, consumption and intermediate use of commodities and services. The database also incorporates economic policies affecting producers and consumers including import tariffs, export subsidies, domestic support to agriculture and other taxes and subsidies on production and consumption.
The data, expressed in U.S. currency, tracks the dollar flows underpinning the global economic system. They show, for example, how much steel the U.S. buys from China, Japan, European countries and other countries, how tariffs are paid on that steel and where its products are being sold. In addition, other datasets can be constructed from GTAP Data Base such as how much steel the U.S. auto industry buys from every country in the world.
Bob Koopman, chief economist at the World Trade Organization, said GTAP Data Base has allowed researchers to focus on the policy specifics of the agreements, freeing them of the burdens of creating a global database, and has allowed economists to systematically refine and improve their measures of how trade agreements impact the economy.
"It has had an extraordinarily important impact on the ability of researchers and governments to assess the potential impact of virtually all trade agreements," Koopman said.
The first version of the GTAP Data Base was developed over 20 years ago with information on 13 countries. The latest version, GTAP 9, has complete data for 120 countries, up from 109 in the previous release and covering 98 percent of global output.
For the first time, GTAP Data Base contains information from Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Guinea, Jamaica, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Togo and Trinidad and Tobago.
"The real value added of GTAP Data Base is that we merge disparate data sources into a coherent and consistent view of the global economy," said van der Mensbrugghe said.