FDZ-Arbeitspapier Nr. 41

How to define an enterprise and assign trade declarations to the right one: Exploration of German traders’ micro transaction data

This paper presents a novel approach to associating Intrastat trade declarations for the year 2004 at the firm level. matching them with the German business register. In theory, by using the VAT number, this should be fairly straightforward. In actual fact, however, there are quite a number of problems that have to be tackled. Among these are changes in the turnover tax number and systematic nonavailability in the business register (especially of enterprises declaring by using a foreign address). Moreover, 2004 was marked by EU enlargement during the year and a number of temporary declaration failures. Although it is necessary to control for all these biases in any analyses, the big advantage of these matched data is that they allow in-depth investigations (at least in terms of intra-EU trade) not only of foreign trade turnover, but also of the number, kind, value, and range of goods imported and exported.