Tariff Analytical and Simulation Tool for Economists (TASTE)

Mark Horridge, David Laborde Debucquet

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 run GTAP is straightforward; and
(3)Disaggregation tools for GTAP users in combination with the SPLITCOM software.

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 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:

(1) Computing aggregated tariffs;
(2) 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;
(3) 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).

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