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JEP Transport Cost Data

for Hummels, David, "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization", Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol 21, No 3, pp 131-154.

  • Please cite this paper if you use this data
  • The author thanks the National Science Foundation for funding this project under Award Number 0318242

Data Figures and Tables in the Paper



  • This zip file contains all the stata code and stata datasets to generate figures 1-4.

  • This (large -- 50 MB) zip file contains all the stata code and datasets to generate table 2 and figures 5 and 6.
  • Of special note, it contains "sitcreallysmall_allyears.dta". This is a data set covering US imports from 1974-2004, with detail on exporting country x SITC revision 2 (5 digit) commodity x transport mode. It contains shipment values, weight, quantity, tariffs, and transportation charges.

Details on Construction of the dataset

These data come from annual Imports of Merchandise CDs provided by the Census bureau. Full details on this set of CD's can be found here

The particular database employed in each year from those CD's is IMP_DETL.DBF

The file below takes these data and does the following transformations

1. Data are concorded from TSUSA -> SITC Rev 2 or from HS -> SITC Rev 2, depending on the year

2. Data are aggregated across product codes and entry ports so that there is a single observation for each exporter x SITC2 product

The specific data are below

Contains data from\sitcreallysmall_allyears.dta

obs: 1,388,675

vars: 15 9 Mar 2006 10:52

size: 154,142,925 (70.6% of memory free)

variable name type       format variable label
ctry int          %10.0g Census country subcode
sitc2 str5         %9s SITC Rev 2, 5 digit
con_qy1 double    %10.0g Imports for Consumption, 1st Unit of Quantity
con_qy2 double    %10.0g Imports for Consumption, 2nd Unit of Quantity
con_val double    %10.0g Imports for Consumption, Customs Value
ves_val double    %10.0g Shipments by Ocean Vessel, Customs Value
air_val double    %10.0g Shipments by Air, Customs Value
con_cha double    %10.0g Imports for Consumption, Import Charges (Freight)
ves_cha double    %10.0g Shipments by Ocean Vessel, Import Charges (Freight)
air_cha double    %10.0g Shipments by Air, Import Charges (Frieght)
air_wgt double    %10.0g Shipments by Air, Shipping Weight (KG)
ves_wgt double    %10.0g Shipments by Ocean Vessel, Shipping Weight (KG)
duty double    %10.0g Import Duties
rec double    %12.0g Number of Detailed Records
yr float      %9.0g Year

Additional Supporting Data

Modal Quantities

sea transport growth statistics.xls

IATA air transport growth statistics.xls

Modal Prices

bls air price indices.xls (Bureau of Labor Statistics index number price data on air passenger and air freight)

icao data.xls (International Civil Aviation Organization data on air fares and air freights by international region 1973-1993)

ocean price indices.xls (Various index numbers for ocean shipping prices from 1948 onward)

per commodity ad-valorem rates.xls (liner shipping rates for specific commodities 1963-2004)