Data on Quality

In 2013-1014, I constructed a "Quality Indicator" for the European Commission. I was asked to construct a product-level (CN8) quality indicator for every European country that exported its products to the European market. Ever since this quality indicator is used and maintained on an annual basis by the EU Commission in their policy work when evaluating EU member countries' performance.

The data that I used to construct this product-level quality indicator was:

  • COMEXT (similar to COMTRADE data or BACI data) to obtain trade flows (values and prices) at CN8 level

  • ORBIS data on firm-characteristics which allowed me to construct a cost measure by product based on the median cost to produce a product in each EU country

This allowed me to apply the algorithm for quality rankings developed in Di Comité, Thisse and Vandenbussche (2014), Journal of International Economics. Using this algorithm, I developed a quality indicator at product-level for every product exported by any EU-28 country, which is explained more in detail in H. Vandenbussche (2014),"Quality in Exports", European Economy papers, European Commission (see below for reference).


  1. H. Vandenbussche, (2014), "Quality in Exports", EUROPEAN COMMISSION- Economic Papers n°532, DG Economic and Financial Affairs (pfd) with non-technical summary (pdf).

  2. F. di Comite, J. Thisse and H. Vandenbussche (2014),”Vertizontal Differentiation in Export Markets”, (pdf), Journal of International Economics, 93, pp. 50-66,