Agriculture News

March 6, 2017

Newly released Journal of Global Economic Analysis provides rare open access to innovations in applied general equilibrium modeling

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University’s Thomas Hertel, a distinguished professor of agricultural economics, recently announced the publication of the Journal of Global Economic Analysis, Vol. 1, No. 2, a free resource that gives economic researchers, government officials and students invaluable insights based on a shared global database.

“Anyone can access it for free anywhere in the world,” Hertel said. “It’s a journal that comes complete with the software and data needed to replicate all the studies in there. It will have a big impact on the community of people undertaking global economic analysis.” The online publication can be accessed at

Hertel co-founded the publication with Niven Winchester, a principal research scientist at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The journal is published by the Center for Global Trade Analysis, which coordinates the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), a global network of researchers and policy makers conducting quantitative analysis of international policy issues.

According to Hertel, the journal provides insights and innovative tools that can help economic researchers more accurately measure the impact of policy decisions. A tariff on imports, for example, could have far-reaching implications because of the global supply chains that support manufacturing in the United States.

“Understanding these relationships is really important if you want to make informed policy decisions,” Hertel said. “That’s really at the core of our common interests - a database that describes the way the world economy is connected.”

The second issue of the Journal of Global Economic Analysis contains new data that relate to climate change damages and water irrigation. It also features advanced methods and theories for multi-regional and small open economy models, and advanced software related to an electricity-detailed economy-wide model.

The inaugural issue, published a year ago, contained two papers which “chart a new way forward in terms of thinking about international trade in the context of individual firms, not countries, trading,” Hertel said. “These firm-level data greatly enrich our analyses of trade policy.”

The data used in the journal comes from the GTAP Data Base, which is the centerpiece of the Global Trade Analysis Project. GTAP has an active network of more than15,000 members, including individuals, agencies and institutions from around the world. The World Trade Organization and leading universities are among the participating members.

The Journal of Global Economic Analysis will be among the topics of discussion when the GTAP Network convenes on the campus of Purdue University June 7-9, 2017, for the 20th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis. This gathering will mark the 20th anniversary of the conference and the 25th anniversary of the project.

“When the project was started we were very much in a closed source world,” said Hertel, who founded the Global Trade Analysis Project in 1992. “People didn’t share things unless they had to, or they waited until the database was 20 to 30 years old and not of much use to others.”

“That was a real limitation,” he said. “The GTAP approach was not only to publish the model, but to bring people here to Purdue University for courses on how to use it. We are able to provide them a database to help them elevate their game so that we all can benefit.” 

Writer: Shari Finnell, Manager, Media Relations, 765-494-2722,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Darrin Pack, 
Agriculture News Page

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