On the Accuracy of Latin American Trade Statistics: a Nonparametric Test for 1925
M. del Mar Rubio Varas
This paper proposes a nonparametric test in order to establish the level of accuracy of the foreign trade statistics of 17 Latin American countries when contrasted with the trade statistics of the main partners in 1925. The Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Ranks test is used to determine whether the differences between the data registered by exporters and importers are meaningful, and if so, whether the differences are systematic in any direction. The paper tests for the reliability of the data registered for two homogeneous products, petroleum and coal, both in volume and value. The conclusion of the several exercises performed is that we cannot accept the existence of statistically significant differences between the data provided by the exporters and the registered by the importing countries in most cases. The qualitative historiography of Latin American describes its foreign trade statistics as mostly unusable. Our quantitative results contest this view.
Latin America, statistical accuracy, international trade data, nonparametric methods, petroleum trade, coal trade.
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