Gravity Portal: Description

Welcome to the Gravity Portal! If this is your first time here, this page will provide an overview of this site.

The goals of the gravity portal

The gravity portal was created in order to provide transparency for Commission studies, improve accessibility to data and analytical tools for Commission staff, facilitate access of other US government agencies to trade data and models, improve and increase research links between the Commission and outside researchers, inform the public about Commission research and data collection efforts and products, and facilitate international trade research outside the Commission.

Gravity modeling

Gravity modeling is widely used in economics and used frequently at the Commission in statutory reports. Gravity modeling is flexible, based on solid economic theory, and can be used for a variety of tasks. It can be used for ex-post econometric analysis, when the patterns of international trade are combined with other data to study aspects of international trade such as trade costs and trade facilitation measures. Gravity modeling can also be used to simulate the effects of policy changes, either in a partial equilibrium or general equilibrium setting.

Gravity Modeling Environment

In order to facilitate the use of gravity modeling inside and outside the Commission, we have created the Gravity Modeling Environment (GME). It is a collection of data, data updating tools, computer programs, and utilities that are used to estimate and simulate a variety of gravity models. Note that the GME contains generic versions of models and data, without customizations for any particular Commission statutory report. While different elements of the GME can be used on their own, they are designed to work together. Click here to access the guides to using the GME.

Data in the GME comes from a variety of sources and has been concorded and reconciled to fit together. The data will be regularly updated using the latest official statistics. The programming approach used in the GME ensures easy maintenance, modification, reliability, robustness, and high execution speed of the computer code. The modeling in GME is implemented using Python programming language, which is a modern, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language, available as a free resource.