Departure Months and Discrepancy in Mirror Trade Data

Discussion Papers


by Kazunobu Hayakawa

August 2020


This study highlights the role of departure months of shipping and the discrepancies in mirror trade statistics. Specifically, we conjecture that trade values are recorded in different years between export and import statistics when exports leave the port of origin in the latter months of the year because exports arrive at the port of destination in the following year. To empirically examine this hypothesis, we investigate exports from Japan to the world. The study findings show that, first, the import statistics are likely missing in the export year when exports occur in November or December and, second, the probability of such missing statistics is higher when exports occur via the sea. These findings have various implications for empirical analysis in trade.

Keywords: Mirror trade data, Discrepancy, Japan

JEL classification: F15, F53

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