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Import/Export Price Indexes

BLS Restricted Data Access

Publications Using MXP Microdata

Papers Using U.S. Import and Export Price Survey Microdata

About the BLS Restricted Data Access Program

The International Price Program (IPP) participates in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Restricted Data Access Program. The program grants external researchers access to confidential microdata for approved statistical analysis. Eligible researchers must submit a research proposal and if approved, enter into a written legal agreement with the BLS to protect data confidentiality. Applicants are encouraged to contact the IPP prior to submitting their proposal to evaluate data availability and the feasibility of their project. See the BLS Restricted Data Access Homepage for more information.

Approved researchers will be assigned an IPP project coordinator who will be available to answer questions and provide access to the microdata. No other research assistance will be provided nor will researchers be compensated for their work or associated expenses by the BLS.

Potential research must have technical merit and be of significant interest to the BLS while furthering its mission.

Who can Apply?

Applicants must hold U.S. citizenship or citizenship from a country party to the U.S. Collective Defense Treaty as set forth by the U.S. Department of State. In addition, applicants must be either a student or an employee of an institute of higher education, a nonprofit organization, a federally-funded research center or a State, local or Indian tribal government.

Data Available

The IPP Research Dataset (RDB) consists of monthly prices collected by the program. Data are available from September 1993. Items not classified as imports or exports in the Current Account are excluded. These items include those traded by U.S. or foreign government, most items traded for military purposes, items traded by foreign parties/entities listed as the U.S. Principle Party in Interest, items traded by consolidators/forwarders unless they are also a U.S. Order Party, and other items not requiring a Customs Entry Document, a Shipper’s Export Declaration, or a report to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. The following disaggregated microdata used to calculate the import/export price indexes are available for research purposes:

  • Detailed product information (product description, country of import/export, unit of sale, incoterm, intra-firm transfer, discontinuation reason, etc.)
  • Product price data from September 1993 – Present
  • Individual product trade classification information
  • Some weighting information

Major Research in Progress and Past Research Topics

Current research is being undertaken on a wide variety of subjects, including the evaluation of links between consumer, producer, and international price movements. A significant amount of past and current research has focused on these price movements and their implications for monetary and fiscal policy.

Previous visiting researchers have used the import/export price microdata in papers focusing on exchange rate pass-through, the impact of globalization on monetary policy, intra-firm trade and price setting, and quality substitution studies.

Many researchers combine the data they receive from the IPP with CPI and PPI to tackle economy-wide issues such as the bargaining power of firms and consumers, tax-motivated transfer pricing, and international macro dynamics.


Last Modified Date: June 30, 2020