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Trade data analysis 2.0

A cabbage tree in a storm resilience report cover

New Zealand Productivity Commission

Jaimie Legge

Ben Temple

Date published

20 February 2024

This paper sets out the Productivity Commission’s approach to analysing trade data for its Improving Economic Resilience inquiry

While trade liberalisation and technological innovations in transportation, logistics, and communications technology have made it easier and cheaper to source goods and services internationally, these advances have also enabled supply chains to become longer and more complex, forming networks across many firms and economies. Long and complex supply chains can bring many possible points of failure, but they can also be adaptive and resilient.

The Commission wanted to create a dataset that linked highly concentrated products with industries that can be shared with industry experts to help identify communities that might be exposed to persistent supply chain disruption.

The approaches and indicative findings presented in this paper are a first step to what could form a more regular and systematic process of collaborating with industry experts to generate data-driven insights from trade data.  
The trade data analysis in this paper provides descriptive statistics about the imports and exports likely to be affected by a supply chain shock and the industries that are most exposed.

This paper is structured in two parts. The first part replicates and extends the APC’s market concentration filters and applies them to NZ’s trade data to identify vulnerable import and export products. This part also includes a discussion of the suitability of this approach for measuring vulnerability for the specific purposes of this inquiry and the limitations of using this approach to identify vulnerable services.

The second part uses Stats NZ’s Input-Output tables to look at industry exposure to trade. Two alternative approaches were tested to map the vulnerable products identified in part one to specific industries. Industries were ranked by their potential vulnerability by overall import and export shares.


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