TASTE: Tariff Analytical and Simulation Tool for Economists

The TASTE program has been designed to allow a large number of users to analyze existing trade policies and perform tariff scenarios. It is based on the MAcMap-HS6 database (version 2, baseyear 2004). It addresses several needs:

  1. Queries on the MAcMap-HS6 database and computation of aggregate tariffs (bound and applied) at different sectoral and regional level (different aggregation methods allowed);
  2. Simulations of tariff changes resulting from a trade policy scenario implemented at the product (HS6) level. Outputs can be used in different models and for instance, the integration in runGTAP is straightforward;
  3. Disaggregation tools for GTAP users in combination with the SPLITCOM software.

Data Visualization

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TASTE has been jointly developed by Mark Horridge from the Center of Policy Studies and David Laborde from IFPRI with funding from the US International Trade Commission, the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, and the Center for Global Trade Analysis.

TASTE in Brief

TASTE comes with a huge database of bilateral trade flows and of applied and bound tariff rates distinguishing around 200 countries and 5000 HS6 goods. This data, based on a number of sources, has been processed by David Laborde. The trade flows are consistent with Version 7 of the GTAP database. The data has been compressed to fit on a normal CD.

Documentation for TASTE is available at:
TASTE: a program to adapt detailed trade and tariff data to GTAP-related purposes by Mark Horridge and David Laborde

The current version of TASTE uses the MAcMApHS6 version 2 data, and is designed to accompany the version 7 GTAP database. The TASTE program itself reads the enormous dataset and performs various operations using optimized routines, in particular:

  • Computing aggregated tariffs;
  • Transformation of scenarios about formula-based changes in bound rates into files of percent change shocks to applied rates -- which could be used by different models such as RunGTAP;
  • Generation of matrices of splitting weights which could be used to split a sector in the trade matrices of a GTAP model database (maybe using the SplitCom method).

You can download the program from here. Start by downloading and printing the instructions -- you can study them during the long download.