Archives de catégorie : Meetings

July 5th 2016 meeting

July 5th 2016 meeting

Attending: Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Frederico d’Onofrio, Meng Ying Du, Pierre Hollegien, Pierre Gervais , Paul Girard, Corentin Ponton, Grégory Tible, Quentin Vidal.,

  1. Ricardo

Following the meeting with Federico and Tena, some changes have been implemented to the datascape: bilateral trade flows and world flows are now separated; the Federico-Tena database has been added in the metadata view where partners can be displayed by color. Moreover, it is now possible to compare the Ricardo’s best-guess with the Federico-Tena’s one in the country view: they largely match except for a period where exports are missing.

The project is to be presented at the digital humanity conference newt week.

  1. Transcriptions

Hasna achieved her tasks: she completed every import in Marseille, and the ones in Nantes until 1761. Requia has not made such good time: about 10 years of exports in Marseille are still to be retranscribed (1741 and 1742 are very difficult to read and are hard to read, Loic will have to deal with them).

Demba is going to complete Bordeaux and will start transcription for imports or export in Nantes.

  1. Verifications

Loïc is still checking transcriptions. There are many difficulties: typos (easy to correct), computing errors, wrong unity of measure (more annoying), etc. Trade records were on average better done in big direction than in small ones. Marseille represents a lot of works (about 2500 lines per year – a big day of work is not enough to deal with one year).

Total sums computed by the copyist does not always match with the ones computed by ourselves, but the later are to be preferred because of the excessive rounding or computing errors made by copyists.

  1. Merchandises

Since 1815, merchandises’ names appear to be much more heterogenous, which increases the work of orthographic normalization and simplification. However, it can be explained by the large number of braces in the products’ labels that are used to distinguish classification and specification.

  1. SITC

Pierre Gervais is pursuing the classification of the goods, but his facing some difficulties due to the state of the “simplification” file. Most problems wil be tackled by an algorithm that does not integrate every spelling yet.

Beatrice proposes to make a unique and universal classification of products from the 18th century. It sounds like an enormous project for the moment though

  1. Datascape

New classifications have been added up to the datascape or updated: Medicinal Products by Pierre Hollegien, North American products by Quentin Vidal, Eden Treaty by Corentin Ponton. The grains’s classification made by Federico d’Onofrio is still to be uploaded. “Revised” classifications are now the standard ones.

Bugs of interface are being fixed, especially when selecting parameters for plotting network views.

Guillaude Daudin asked Paul Girard and Gregory Tible on the possibility to implement a new feature in the datascape. It would consist in a tool allowing us to pick terms from a daughter classification and use them in a mother classification. The mother environment would be filtered by the daughter classification.

  1. Next Meetings

No more TOFLIT meetings before the end of the summer holidays.
Research of a room that could host the 16
th September meeting, and discussion about an accommodation in Chicago for October.


June 8th 2016 meeting

Merci à Corentin et Quentin pour la première version du compte rendu de la réunion du 8 juin.

Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Meng Ying Du, Pierre Gervais , Paul Girard, Corentin Ponton, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli, Quentin Vidal.

1)    Retranscription
Imports coming from Marseille are done, but are still to verify.
Marseille’s exports however should be done in two weeks, as well as 1789 sources.
Moreover, Demba will achieve entering Nantes and Bordeaux sources before long
Cyril Canet is doing Rennes and Nantes ones
Quentin Vidal is completing the 1823 Table of Quantities, while Corentin Ponton in entering unit prices from 1819 to 1821.
Since character recognition does not work (even on printed registers), manual retranscription is necessary, even though it is long and dull. Anyway, we really would like to stop it by the end of summer, so as to focus on the database exploitation.

2)    Verifications
1789 is nearly done (only 4 directions are left) 1789, and then it will be over.
For England, 1787 and 1788 still need to be done.
Idem for Marseille’s imports. It is a long job (between 2000 and 3000 observations each year).

3)    Identification of commodities and classification
We are still following the 21th century Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) proposed by United Nations to group the nearly 20 000 goods of the dataset by category. However, Pierre Gervais is facing some difficulties regarding particular products and groups which are completely meaningful nowadays but did not make any sense back in the 18th century.
For instance, he evokes the case of medicinal products that were often considered as food supplies in those days (such as the saffron, which is also used as a dye). Besides, dye plants and tinctures are also mistaken.
Tea is an issue for 0a/0b as it can be both be produced by local farmers or on plantations.
So far, about 20% of the 15 000 goods are classified, although a large part of them goes in “category x” whenever a doubt arises. By the way, a great share of commodities is also labelled as raw materials, which is certainly overestimated. This work should be done by the end of the month.

Furthermore, Elisa’s Hambourg classification is available on the datascape, while Quentin aims at creating a classification for specific Canadian products and Corentin for products impacted by the Eden Treaty

4)    Elisa Tirindelli
Elisa Tirindelli defended her master thesis this week: she tried to explain the effects of war on French exports by distinguishing the effect on colonial exports (sugar and coffee) and non-colonial ones (wine and spirits).
She will pursue a PhD track in Dublin next year in historical and urban economics.

5)    Datascape
Paul Girard and Gregory Trible have improved the performances of the website. They created two new tabs from the “Global tab”: Countries Network and Product Terms. The former is not completely working by now but will display interesting information on countries relationships in trade, while the later could return details on the complexity of merchandises by analyzing every term of each commodity.
The metadata tab has seen a few improvements. However, we would also like to aggregate flows by classification. For instance, we would like to see how the “pays grouping” classification has evolved through the decades so as to understand how Toscane, Piémont and other provinces were assimilated in Italy by the statistics.
Besides, as some particular mixes of criteria do not obviously exhibit any results (since they are completely irrelevant), we should give users more information and advises regarding requests, by the means of help pop-ups or FAQ.

Gregory Tible’s internship is nearly over; he will leave Sciences Po at the end of July. Paul will Guillaume Plique might punctually intervene on the datascape. But Paul will do the main work. The additional budget will be necessary to find some help.

6)    Ricardo
Ricardo is doing well. The team has been chasing bugs and developing the mew Metadata view (issue of mirror rates)
After that, it will be back to data management (eg source cleaning).

7)    Next meetings
•    June 22nd: (Ricardo meeting) with Giovani Federico and Antonio Tena
•    July 5th, 9.30am at the Médialab: last TOFLIT meeting before summer holidays.
•    September 16th – 17th: public meeting with people from the English project, Norway, Ireland and the STRO (7 guests have already favorably answered); internal meeting on Saturday 17th.
•    October 14th in Chicago: need to obtain more details from Loic Charles.

May 11th 2016 meeting

May 11th Toflit meeting
Attending : Requia Bouali, Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Federic d’Onofrio, Meng Ying Du, Hasna El-Adel, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Corentin Ponton, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli, Quentin Vidal

1. Presentations

2. Retranscriptions
– For Marseille, Requia is doing year 1749 and Hasna 1751.
– Laura is working on 1789.
– By the end of May, we should have most of Marseille + Nantes.
– Demba will finish afterward. We plan to stop in July.
– Corentin Ponton adding some unit values from 1815 to 1821. But they are not bilateral : it seems like there is a double aggregation of values and quantities because computing of average prices exhibits wrong results.
– Quentin Vidal is transcribing post-1815 sources by the customs, that indicate quantities and duties.

3. Verifications
•    Loic Charles is checking the retranscription of Grenoble and England sources (4 to 5 thousands lines a day). He expects to end this job by September.
After summer holidays, we should stop retranscripting of new sources so as to focus on the database exploitation.

4. Identification
– Identification of commodities is nearly done (thanks to Quentin and Corentin); some doubts remain concerning strange words, though most of them might come from foreign languages (Dutch or Flemish mainly). Note that those unknown goods are worth only small amounts.
– We could use Beccia’s information to enhance the identification
– We could identify some Indian textiles because they all end the same way.
– There are copyist mistakes that are very difficult to correct.

5. Identification
Pierre Gervais and Guillaume are working on the SITC variant we will be offering as one of the classifications. We discuss the difficulties.
•    SITC: consists of a dozen of categories, divided into more sub-categories.
o    Motivation: building bridges between different projects and between different centuries.
o    Drawbacks: frontier between categories might be too blurred, and some goods create ambiguities, about the transformation degree for example. There are way too much commodities in the category “9C: other products”.
o    Should we create a new version of the SITC classification, maybe more fitted to our project but less standardized and thus less internationally recognized?
•    Examples of problems encountered during the classification: What to do with some chemical products, such as medicines that are not always transformed products? With textile goods, made of cotton, silk or something else we do not know?
•    Ideally, we aim for a classification perfectly understandable for someone who does not know anything about the project, or at least anything but the rules of the classification.

6. Quantities in the datascape
We discuss how to integrate quantities in the database. Guillaume suggests we could create one variable / facet for each type of quantities (weight, volume, number and maybe length). In that way, they could be treated like values in the datascape.

7. Work on the datascape
We have a quick discussion on progress of the datascape, and how to treat 1749 and 1751 for National Best Guess

8. Ricardo
We admire the new version of the Metadata view.

9. Next meetings

•    June 8th 2016 (Toflit meeting), at 9h30, Medialab.
•    June 22nd  2016 (Ricardo meeting) with Giovani Federico and Antonio Tena
•    July 5th: last meeting before summer holidays.
•    September 16th : public meeting with people from the English project, Norway, Ireland and the STRO. There will be an internal meeting on Saturday 17th.
•    October 14th in Chicago (financed up to $4500 from Chicago side). It would be nice if Pierre, Paul and Siliva could come.

April 13th meeting

Réunion Toflit 13/04/16

Requia Bouali, Marie-Laure Dagieu, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Hasna El-Adel, Paul Girard, Laura Mouton, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli, Du Meng Ying,

1) Interns
The project is presented to out two new interns : Hasna El-Adel and Requia Bouali. They are working on the retranscription of Marseille and Nantes. We discuss how to use the datascape to facilitate the retranscription

3) Budget
INED has 35,000 € left. We expect to spend approximately 20,000 € this year. At the end of 2016, 80% of the initial budget will have been spent, mainly on wages and contractors.

Sciences Po has 25,000 € left at the end of 2015. 60% of the initial budget has been spent, mainly on wages. After Guillaume Plique and Gregory have been paid, we will have approximately 10,000 € left. We discuss whether we want to transfer this money for other workers in 2017.

Dauphine has 70,000 € left. Only 15% of the initial budget has been spent. This is because Dauphine will mainly take in charge missions and conferences, which will be more important at the end of the project when we will be able to present the data and our research results. We are late in the collection and organization of the data.

4) Datascape
Pierre Gervais is currently working on the SITC classification.

We discuss the chronological repartition of good names. Only roughly 10% of products are mentioned every year, suggesting that semantic variations are very important.

Paul Girard is working on making updates to the datascape easier so that they can be done regularly.
Gregory is working on improving the interface and squashing bugs. For exemple, the server breaks down under searches crossing countries and goods in the indicator visualization.

There is still a bug when trying to search by crossing simplification pays and direction.

5) Ricardo
The source names have been nearly fully streamlined.

Du Meng Ying is working on a new « metadata» visualization. It  shows which data are available from which place: they can be sorted by number of flows in the whole period or by average value of flows.
We discuss the use of absolute value of trade or share for sorting purposes. It would be better to calculate average value as average of the share of what is available, to avoid countries with trade only in 20th century to stand out just in value terms.

Each main viz will have a metadata equivalent. This is done for the Country and the World view, but not yet for the Bilateral view.

6) Meetings
Next meeting is May 11th at 4pm at the médialab 13 rue de l’Université. We discuss our schedule for the end of June without reaching a definite solution.

March 16th meeting

Thank you to Elisa who wrote the first version of this report.


Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, Grégory Tible, Elisa Maria Tirindelli, Du Meng Ying

1) Database
We have now a new version of normalisation orthographique. We discuss the integration of the work of GD, GP, PG, and ET.
We also have a new version of «simplification».
GD will be working on a new SITC before Cambridge.

We know have a more-or-less working datascape at :
If you want to explore it, please ask Guillaume Daudin for access codes.

2) Ricardo
The paper was accepted and Ricardo will be presented in July. Du Meng Ying is doing her internship on Ricardo at present.
Major work to be done on Ricardo:
– Correcting bugs and adding new views (like the metadata in toflit).
– Creating a flow of data, converging to what was done in toilet. Transferring everything in a github account.

The breakdown into sources is still to be done.

We discuss the integration of an additional « world» trade estimate.

3) Merchandise treatment

– Normalisation orthographique is nearly done. It classifies 44,000 items into 21,000 groups. The only data missing are the data that have not been acquired yet. According to Loic there are 25% more lines to be done, even more according to Pierre.

– Simplification brought normalisation down to 16,500 lines. It still needs to be revised in detail because it still contains some old version of the work. Pierre suggests to organise a group meeting to talk about it and to work on it in a more organized way.

– Original orthographique needs to be cleaned. some products are still unknown and it is necessary to understand what they are. Pierre says they are not many.

– Catégorisation issue:

Pierre G. is of the opinion that the 1789 categorization (c. 250 categories) is not very coherent and might not work well on the entire dataset.

Guillaume D. suggested to use categorization 1788 because it contains all the data and in addition it links XVIII to XIX century data.

Pierre is skeptical, in his opinion we are looking for categories that will be useful to economists and economic analysis and maybe the best idea would be to come up with a new proposal of classification in the style of 2 digit sitc.

In the end, we decide to work directly on a 20 groups categorization (sitc18_rev3). GD is to do the job (he needs it for Cambridge !)

4) The June meeting in  Chicago project is cancelled. We will try to do an other in December or late winter. We will try to re-use part of our ideas for the 2018 Boston WEHC conference ?

5) Schedule for next meetings :
–  13 April 13  14.30, room 84 rue de Grenelle
– 11 May 16.00, medialab
– 8 June 9.30, medialab
– 1 July 9.30, medialab

6) Paul suggests to do a “for paper sprint” in July (1st ?) or September to provide data generation and exploration specifically need to paper in progress. We need to discuss that.

7) 2018 Boston WEHC conference : do a BYOD (we need to contact organizers). Or maybe a big database thing with Berlin ?

February 19th 2016 meeting

Meeting Toflit18 – 19/02/2016

Attending :
Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Pierre Gervais, Guillaume Plique, Grégory Tibre, Elisa Tirindelli

!!!!! Change of schedule !!!!!! Next meeting will be on Wednesday March 16th, at 14.30 at the médialab.

1. New data
Lyon has given a dilatory answer. Dunkerque would require one week of work. So we will not pursue these opportunities,  focus on what we have already and work on it.
There should be 10 «easy» years to collect each in Narbonne, Annecy and the bibliothèque de l’institut (Paris). One would need te be sponsored for last one. Loïc will give quote for these : we might send interns there.
No news concerning Bayonne.

2. Verification
1789 imports are done.
Marseille sill needs to be done + 2 two years for Nantes + the Eden treaty data.

3. Retranscription
1789 imports are done
Laura is working on 1789 exports.
Marseilles is finished (Thasectra + 2 interns).
Cyril or Dauphine interns must still do Bordeaux, and the remaining years for Nantes and Rennes.

4. Interns
– Elisa Tirindelli (PSE M2 student) will work till May 31st/early June. She will work on trade with the North for her master thesis + on simplification.
– Corentin Ponton (Dauphine M1 student) who will work on the project from May 2 to July 29. He will contribute on unknown products. His aim is to build a gravity model.
– Quentin Vidal (TSE M1 student) will work from April 18 to July 13.
– Victoria Sessego (Cachan 1st year student) might start working in September one day a week).
– Requia Bouali (Paris-8 AES + M1 Sociology + M2 Anthropology) will work from April 4 till July 1 every day except for Tuesdays on retranscriptions (till May 15th) + a thesis on the organisation of INED
– Hasna El Adel is a Paris-8 M2 student (with a licence in Economics). She will work on retranscription (till May 15th) + a thesis on the TOFLIT project as an exemple of good practices.

5. Database
There are currently three versions of the database:
– the «old» Neo4J
– the «up to date» bdd_centrale.csv
– the work based on Pierre’s orthographic normalization

As an estimate, we will have an additional 150,000 observations to add to the existing 380,000.

6. Treatment of merchandises
We then have a lively discussion on how best to proceed for the treatment of goods.

Pierre suggests putting everything back to singular in orthographic normalization. We also discuss an automatic treatment of singulars and plurals automatic. automatise the calculus on the database to calculate singular and plural. This is put off till latter. More details follow :

– tout remettre au singulier: pour la lecture c’est peu attrayant, mais ça serait une solution si nous continuons à essayer de rentrer les marchandises dans la normalisation orthographique « au fil de l’eau ». Solution rejetée dans la discussion parce que a) reconvertir est trop lourd (Loïc) b) de tout façon faire « au fil de l’eau » est trop compliqué (moi)

– d’où la solution choisie: un petit algorithme à appliquer une fois la normalisation terminée, qui vérifie que ce qui est au singulier doit bien être au singulier, et ce qui est au pluriel doit bien être au pluriel. Sous le contrôle de Guillaume, voici ce que ça donnerait:

pour le mot x

if forme normalisée orthographique = forme singulier du dictionnaire
trouver forme plurielle dans dictionnaire
calculer N occurrences singulier et N occurrences pluriel standard dans base normalisée
calculer % N pluriel / (N pluriel + N singulier)
comparer résultat à choix; changer si le résultat ne correspond pas à la règle choisie (que je rappelle: pluriel seulement quand 75% de pluriel)

if forme normalisée orthographique = forme plurielle du dictionnaire
trouver forme singulier dans dictionnaire
calculer N occurrences singulier et N occurrences pluriel standard dans base normalisée
calculer % N pluriel / (N pluriel + N singulier)
comparer résultat à choix; changer si le résultat ne correspond pas à la règle choisie (idem, 75% pluriel => pluriel)

if forme normalisée orthographique ne correspond à aucune forme, arrêt et avertissement

La seule question est celle de la constitution d’un dictionnaire, mais ça ne me semble pas insoluble. Et effectivement c’est à faire un fois les nouvelles lignes rentrées.

Considering the delays (we need a functioning treatment of goods for the end of March), we discuss wether we should bypass «simplification» and link directly orthographic normalization with the 1789 classification (200/280 items). That latter task seems very ambitious. We decide to go through simplification (even though the resulting file (between 12,000 and 16,000 lines)  still seems very long for the end user) and link with the sitc classification.

We discuss two additional points regarding simplification.
– Shall we keep the «qualities» ? We answer yes as we want not to loose any information at that stage. «harengs séchés» is not the same as « harengs».
– Shall we keep «categories» ? We answer no when they do not add any information. «poissons harengs» is the same as « harengs»  There are two issues with simplification; every product is associated to qualities and to categories,
•    is product plus quality the same as just product?
•    should we keep categories of should we leave them and keep them only in classification?
We should try to think who the users of the data will be and work on data accordingly

7. Gregory’s work
As the meeting is reaching an end, Gregory is simple sent a number of pdfs to illustrate the kind of visualization we need.

8. Datascape
The pre-prod version will be available soon. Please ask Guillaume for access.
Performance issues have been dealt with.
What should we add to the website to be a good tool for research?
In the simplification connection graph: get rid of the products with too few linkages (less than 4) to have those with more linkages clearer and more readable.
Another option is to filter by classification ?
Medicaments: change color of node to reflect hierarchisation ?

9. Chicago : no news. Things should coalesce when Loïc will be there, in March.

29th January 2016 meeting

Meeting Toflit18 – 29/01/2016

Attending :
Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Federico D’Onofrio, Paul Girard, Jérôme Hericourt, Emmanuelle Lavallée, Ivan Ledezma, Guillaume Plique, Samuel Sanchez, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli

1 – Discussion around RICardo

2 – Back to Manylines

3 – New data exploration tools for Toflit (with,380 000 trade flows and 44,000 different goods and a number of different partners)
There are for the time being 4 ways to get into the data in the tool.
* Classification
This is where one can treat the multiplicity of names in the data. For each case (goods and parters for the time being), there are at least three steps : orthographic normalisation // simplification (with no loss of information) // categorization (with some information loss)
How to update a classification ?
– Choose one (e.g. simplification)
– Export it in csv
– Open with LibreOffice (UTF-8)
– Modify the three-column file (last 2 columns)
– Import the csv
– This generates an «import report» about the links with the further classifications (e.g. changing «simplification» will have an effect on «categorization»

– Shall we do a versioning ?
– How to treat the «import report» ?

* Metadata
This is where one can see the available flows in the data
One can select the type of breakdown (in addition to year) : (direction, source, goods/partner classificatons, goods/partner simplication, grouping (product ou country)).
This yields 2 graphs :
Number of different groups per year
Number of flows per year

* Indicators
This is where one can see graphs with time series
On can make a selection according to :
– Source Type
– Product
– Country
– Direction
– Kind (import, export, total)

Two curves are created :
– Number of flows by year
– Sum of value by year

There can be up to 6 choices.
For the time being, it is a bit slow, but results are put in a cache to be reused easily

* Globals
This is were on can visualize graphs. The only one available is between directions and partners. The algorithms clusterizes geographical areas.
Latter in the meeting, we realize that it would be useful to be able to link goods and directions and not only partners and directions.
It would be nice also if a term network could be included.

4 – Paper presentations
4.1 Elisa on the analysis of bilateral trade flows between France and Hamburg between 1750-1789

Elisa Presentation_29 01 2016
French dataset (in 2014) : 3407 flows aggregate flows (Hamburg is often included in the North)
German dataset 1609 export flows between 1733-1798
Issues with both datasets : various units of measurement (even for the values) // linking products (changing named) // difficulty with prices and conversion rates
Solutions : work on common years / only on exports
The work that has been done : corrélation of the data in both sources. The correlation is rather strong (0.93 for the evolution of total flows, 0.98 for the breakdown by big sectors, 0.81 for the breakdown by products.

New exploration tools : linear regression and testing the Benford’s law
New questions on exogenous shocks : Seven year war, American revolution war, Interruption of commerce between France and Hamburg (1761-1769), trade liberalisation 1780.
To sum up : how reliable is the data ? What is the effect of wars ? What is the effect of treaties ?

There is a discussion on the share of Hamburg in the North and the importance of discrepancies in Hamburg.

4.2 Federico on Grain trade 1725-1821

Federico Presentation_29 01 2016
Only 6000 trade flows, broken down in 5 categories : Froment / other grains / third class grains / panifiable / transformed goods.
Directions : 6 directions with between 200 and 300 flows in each (only maritime)
Origins : Italie and the Baltic
Exports : colonies, Espagne, Italie, Nord…

Time series :  : the food crisis are very apparent (70-71/89/1817)

Extending the national series: repeated sale method
Distribution of grain trade :  Marseilles is the main export port by a large margin.

Links between the grain trade and population growth ? Role of riots ? The strongest correlation is between riots and t-1 exports. Is that because exports are in the summer and riots in the next spring ? Or because past exports stoke the fear for new permits ?

Projects : look at the geography of trade through GIS ? look at networks ? look at DEMETO models : demography and climate ? Thinking of co-occurences leads us to suggest that in the global view one should be able to link goods and directions and not only partners and directions.

4.3 Ivan and Emmanuelle on international production network in the 18th century Evidence from the French data (abstract)

The breakdown of the value added chain is not a 20th century innovation. They look at the sugar network. French per capita consumption is only 1/10th of English one.
The study of this international value-added chain is interesting. Especially the movement of the location of sugar transformation (which is a high VA activity).
One way to look at it is too look at the words associated with sugar.

The next meeting is at 9.30 of February 19th at the médialab.

January 8th 2016 meeting

Attending: Loïc Charles, , Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Ivan Ledezma, Guillaume Plique,

1. Classifications in Neo4J
We now have a beta version of the algorithm that allows to change
«root» classifications while keeping as many links as possible with
«branch» classification.
We discuss how to best format the result of the algorithm so that it
can be used as a basis for further work
It will be tested on January 21st by Guillaume, Guillaume, Federico and Paul.

2. New Data
No news from Pierre, nor Lyon, nor Dunkerque.

3. Retranscriptions
No news from Marseille
The Eden treaty has been done
Gabriel and Torsten are progressing.
Cyril will treat Bordeaux.
Laura and Loïc’s interns will finish 1789.

4. Verification
Bordeaux, Rouen and Caen have been completed.
Tax information will not be included in Neo4J.
When have to think about a plan for the step by step integration of
new data to make the task manageable.

Nothing new. Things are on track.


On January 21st, Guillaume, Guillaume and Paul will test the algorithm (see point 1) On January 27th and 28th, the médialab will do a development meeting on data exploration. Gregory will be there. On January 29th (all day) there is a «big» TOFLIT meeting (9.30 at the Medialab). The next regular meeting will take place on February 19th, 9.30.

Decembre 11th 2015 meeting

Thank you to Béatrice who has prepared these meeting minutes !


Atending: Loïc Charles, , Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Ivan Ledezma, Guillaume Plique, Grégory Tible.


1.   Exploration tools

The Toflit sprint has led to the creation of three “views” by the developer team:

  • Metadata view:
    • Allows exploring the availability of data
    • Number of directions by year
    • Available data by direction, and local/national
  • Indicator view:
    • Allows tracking trade flows
    • The user can explore the results with two graphs: number of flows by year, total value of flows by year (up to six curves by graph)
      • Question: histogram or curve?
    • Can select among four categories: Product (different classifications) / Country / Direction / Kind (export, import, total)
    • Create a new category “Source” to solve the problem of redundant flows (ex: Commerce de la Rochelle en 1750 is reported by different sources, both local and national)
  • Global view:
    • Allows exploring trade networks
    • Global views (networks) of flows by directions / countries
    • Cases where a colony appears as a Direction (when reporting) and as a country (when partner).
    • Cleaning work on Directions (e.g. grands ports, petits ports)


2.   Classifications

Updating the list of products (with the inclusion of Pierre’s data for example) has consequences on the whole chain from orthographic normalization to simplification and categorization.

Many cases: new items, renamed items, moved items, dropped items, new groups, splitted groups, suppressed groups (?).

– Paul and Guillaume are working on an algorithm to simplify the updating

– Pierre will finish orthographic normalization by December 19th.

– The algorithm will be written and tested before next meeting (January 8th)


3.   New data

No news of Lyon.

Paul will ask Pierre for the pictures in Bayonne’s archives.

Loïc will visit Dunkerque soon.



4.   Retranscriptions

Loïc believes everything can be finished in 2016.

Work done: Bordeaux, 1789 and 1792, colonies.

Work to be done: Marseille (post-1765), 1787 Eden treaty.

We need to get Gabriel’s files

Torsten will do some work on Nantes.

Laura will work three months as an auto-entrepreneur to retranscribe herself and direct the work of two of Loïc’s interns (in June and July)


5.   Verification

1789/1792 and tho colonies have been treated

Bordeaux is ready : Guillaume needs to check the integrate the data



6.   Budget

TOFLIT: Guillaume Plique’s contract will end at the end of January. As we might not have to pay tho «prime de précarité», we will be able to hire Grégory Tible.for a 5-month internship.


RICardo : Grégory Tible work on RICardo is coming to its end.

A new intern will be hired in February to work on RIC entities and the data visualization.


7.   Meetings

The next monthly TOFLIT meeting will take place on January 8th 2016 at 9:30 am at Médialab. The next one will be on February 19th.

There will be a TOFLIT development workshop on January 27-28th

There will be a full TOFLIT meeting on January 29th. In the morning, the Médialab will present its work. In the afternoon, we will discuss research projects in the perspective of the Chicago meeting in June 2016. Researchers will present a one or two page presentation of a research project, and we will discuss, among other things, feasibility and data needs.

November 6th 2015 meeting

Attending : Cyril Canet, Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Guillaume Plique,  Grégory Tible

1. Ricardo
The abstract of the paper on design choices has been submitted to the Digital Humanities 2016 conference.
The methodological paper has been submitted to « Historical Methods»
The database and the documentation will be finished before the end of Gregory’s internship.

2. Neo4J
Guillaume Plique présents a new interface for managing the classifications.
A 3-day sprint will take place on Novembre 16th to 18th to kick-start the work on the data exploration module.

4. Classification of goods
Pierre Gervais progresses in the orthographic normalization. In the end, he estimates that between 5 and 10 % of the terms will still not be identified. However, that will be a much smaller part of the database.
He plans to finish on november 20th (computer issues have since made that impossible).
We discuss the simplification.

5. Retranscriptions
– No progress from Thasectra, which should still do imports in Marseilles
– For the rest, the situation in the same as in September.
– Gabriel and Torsten will each do one year in Nantes.
– We need to find a way to retranscribe some more data

6. Verifications
– Loïc is working on Bordeaux
– Guillaume Daudin will do Jérémy’s 1789 (National per direction) and 1792.
We still need to do Marseille, the colonies, the Eden treaty and the 1789 done by Anthony Rebours.

7. New data
We will ask Lyon again. Loïc is going to Dunkerque. We need someone for a picture in Bayonne : Paul has a suggestion (Pierre).

8. Cyril Canet
We discuss with Cyril Canet what he can do for the project during his stay in South Africa.

9. Werner Scheltjens
Werner will be invited in Dauphine in March 2016. At that point we will treat the issue of quantities.

10. Meeting schedule
TOFLIT Sprint  : November 16th-18th
Monthly TOFLIT meetings : December 11th and January 8th (9.30 each time)
« Full » TOFLIT meeting : January 29th.
Chicago TOFLIT meeting : June 2016

October 8th 2015 meeting

Octobre 8th 2015 meeting
Attending: Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Pierre Gervais, Guillaume Plique, Donato Ricci, Gregory Tible

1. Neo4J
Import and export procedure for the data has been done, except for measurement units and outsiders (i.e. merchandizes which are not in the French data source)
We discuss how to treat these outsiders. They will have a direct link with sources, but not with flows.
We discuss notes in classifications. No formal structure. In all cases, only one note field per classification.
GP presents the first version of the classification browsing interface.
We discuss how to treat the glossary.

We decide on the next features.

2. Ricardo
A new version of Ricardo is presented (shortly before Béatrice does the same in Berlin), and some tweaks to the interface are suggested.

3. Classification of goods
Pierre Gervais has treated between 1500 and 2000 lignes in a fortnight. He just finished « étoffes».
He believes he could finish the treatment of the current (33,000 lines long) list November 15th.
This will not include any new good introduced since June 2015 (at least 3000 of them). If anyone wants to study a specific sector before then (e.g. grains), he should :
– Ask Pierre Gervais to treat it in the 33,000
– Do a «sister» classification treating the extra data just for that
– This work will never be integrated in « Pierre’s classification

4. Digital Humanities 2016
A paper will be presented at the Digital Humanitiest 2016 conference, despite the fact it will be submitted at this point.

5. Retranscriptions
– No progress from Thasectra, which should still do imports in Marseilles
– For the rest, the situation in the same as in September.

6. Verifications

– Bayonne is done. The most difficult was doing Nantes and Rennes, because of the lack of totals.

– To be done : 1792, Marseille, Eden treaty data, 1789, Colones and Bordeaux.

We discuss the specific issue of Bordeaux. Taxes are mentioned. We decide to add columns for their measurement units, their the volume it applies to, the unit taxe and the total tax (4 ones)
Traité d’Eden

7. New Data
No news from Lyon and Dunkerque
1 page is missing each in Rouen, Bayonne, and Nantes. Maybe we should send an intern to take the pictures and do a bit of retranscription.

The next meeting is November 6th at 0930 at the Médialab.

September 10th 2015 meeting

Attending : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Guillaume Plique, Gregory Tible

1. Ricardo
The Ricardo team is nearly at the bug squashing phase.

2. Team
Grégory Tible has been hired as an intern to work on Ricardo till the end of december. He will also give a hand to Guillaume Plique on the Toflit18 project
Donato Ricci will give a hand as a designer.

3. Budget
Everything seems fine. We are under-using the budget.
A partial explanation is that we will not have to pay for the server.
Still, the workshop in Chicago (one of the first three weeks of June 2016) might use up a lot of mission money.
A designer might come in handy latter too.

4. Neo4J
Work is continuing on the back-end of the datascape, written in Neo4J
A basic import procedure of the existing csv data has been put in place.
Programmation currently putting in place a robust agregation/disagregation procedure to include new sources and classifications in csv format, do a number on automatic checks and corrections (using the former stata .do as a base) and then re-export them for, among other things, versioning (as .csv).
There are still some bugs in this procedure.

Guillaume Plique is also making progress on the interface. There are two directions in that work :
– The aim of the first one is to ease the work on classifications
– The aim of the second one is to ease data exploration, which is the basic aim of the datascape

5. Classification of goods
Pierre Gervais and Loïc Charles have converged toward a set of formal rules to do the orthographic normalization of the name of goods (step 1) and the simplification of the name of goods (step 2).
Pierre Gervais presents the rules and we discuss them. The group approves them (see link).
Pierre Gervais commits to finishing the treatment on November 10th

6. Retranscriptions

Thasectra has finished Marseilles’s exports. Imports are still to be done : that will be their last task

Summing up on local sources :
Bayonne, La Rochelle, Rouen/Caen have been fully retranscribed. A selection of years have been retranscribed for Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes and Rennes.
For Nantes, a number of years are missing : 1730, 1732, 1735, 1738, 1740 et 1745. They were not retranscribed by Thasectra and someone should do it.

Cyril Mouton has retranscribed trade of the colonies for 1789 and 1787 (and 1788 ?) this summer + the data on the Eden treaty.

Cyril Mouton and Esther Benbassat have also done 1792.

A number of 1789 directions are still missing, even though Loïc did some this summer. Some others (especially Nantes, Bordeaux and Marseilles) must be put in the right format.

7. Verifications

Done this summer : Nantes (exports and imports), Bayonne (imports) Marseille (1730s), Rouen/Caen + Rennes
Planned before mid-october : Bayonne (exports), Bordeaux (import) + another one in the list below — a priori Marseille (exports)

Still to be done :  Marseille (export and imports, other years), colonies (1787 to 1789), 1789 (for the directions we have), Bordeaux (exports), Eden treaty data, 1792

8. New data

No news from the archive people at Lyon despite two messages in spring. We will try again.

To do (one day) : go back quickly to Rouen and Nantes : a page is missing in each place.
Check Dunkerque to see if they have something.

9. Next meeting

9h30 on 8 /10/15

July 2nd meeting

July 2nd meeting


Attending: Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, and Pierre Hollegien.

1-Team Management

Guillaume Plique will be on vacation for 20 days in August and will remain with us until the end of January.


All the budgets are in; Guillaume Daudin must finalize it and prepare the documents for the ANR


On Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th, an IT team will work with Paul, Béatrice, Guillaume P. and Guillaume D. on remaining issues on Ricardo visualization platform. This meeting will tackle slight changes (add new options such as “order per name”, “filter”, changing some titles) and the creation of new variables such as the different flows views (estimated, reported, “sum of partners”, world unknown, best guess).

Discussion on persistent issues (sources standardization, view prioritized, etc…) will also take place there.


Moreover Béatrice D. will participate to a meeting in October gathering schoolteachers in order to collect opinions and advices for the visualization platform. Yves Poncelet, academic inspector, will assist to this meeting.


Finally, Ricardo’s budget is set to 15,000€ for the next three years. Accordingly an intern will be recruited for 4 months (4,500€) to develop and design the website. Paul G. has already found a suitable candidate. The internship should take place from September to December.


Two new interns will join the team for two weeks each. Anthony Rebours will join us on July 15th and Elisa Maria Tirindelli should join us later as well.

Guillaume D. might also enroll another intern but some issues remain.


Transcription from Bayonne, Rennes, Rouen, Caen and the Colonies must be reviewed by Loïc but are completed.

Thasectra is implementing data from Marseille. Next they should deal with La Rochelle 1789.


Besancon and a part of Lyon will be inputted by Anthony Rebours.  Currently Cyril Mouton is working on colonial flows and Elisa Maria Tirindelli should work on data available for 1792.

5-A new tool for visualization: Neo4J

Neo4J is a graph database that must enable us to visualize flows according to their characteristics (import/exports, direction, commodity, etc…). Guillaume P. and Paul G. have been working only for a short while but they manage to make a demonstration with 10,000 flows. In our case we cannot use a relational database since the type of flow (location where it was recorded, year, etc…) can change the characteristics we attribute to one commodity. We thus need to use a network structure.

Remaining problems:

  • Products from Belgium customs and the Sund are mixed in our database è we must integrate metadata for each commodity that enable us to know the source.
  • How to enable the user to add corrections:
    • Integrate a filter combine with an orthographic search
    • The system works only with 3 columns : the distribution key that must remain unchanged, the selected column on which we are applying corrections, and finally the column following the selected one (to match with classifications)

Neo4J will be tested for the next week in order to come up with solutions to the remaining issues. We will then draft a final version.



To help with unit standardization, Loïc C. has found an interesting book giving information on measures used in south-west of France.


Next meeting is scheduled at 2 pm, at the Médialab on July 20th. It will be a small-committee one where we will discuss of the various tools required. Another meeting is scheduled on September 10th at 2pm at the médialab.

June 5th meeting

June 5th meeting


Attending & program:

Alain Becchia, Loïc Charles, Federico D’Onofrio, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Jérôme Héricourt, Reka Juhasz, Emmanuelle Lavallée, Ivan Ledezma, Silvia Marzagalli, Cyril Mouton, Guillaume Plique, Pierrick Pourchasse, Pierre Hollegien.

After having presented the various participants, the meeting took place in accordance with the following agenda:

9h30-10h30: Alain Becchia, “Imports and exports of woolens in the balance of trade registers”

10h30-11h30: Pierre Hollegien, “Democratization of medicinal drugs in France (1700-1850)”

11h30-12h30: Béatrice Dedinger & Paul Girard, “Ricardo: presentation of a preliminary version of the database”

14h-15h: Guillaume Daudin & Loïc Charles: “Coding standards and merchandises, units and measures classifications in the TOFLIT 18 database, and other associated problems”

15h-16h: Paul Girard & Guillaume Plique: “Thoughts on the data template and associated tools”

16h15-17h15: Open discussion on next steps.


On the woolen trade (A. Becchia)

The work is specific to cloth trade from Elbeuf because of its importance. The data Alain Becchia has been working on are from the trade balance, localized in Rouen or elsewhere.


First Alain Becchia retraced the construction of his database. He highlighted a few important points that can alter the quality of data:

  • Employees from the “Direction” determine the designation of commodities. Depending on the knowledge of each employee designation of a same commodity might vary across time and space. To correct those mistakes aggregation is sometime necessary.
  • Prices and values can be easily retrieved. On the other hand, quantities are sometimes in different units or can be estimated based on value. It is interesting to evaluate whether prices fluctuate over time or if employees are referring to a standard price over the years.

On the importance of textile trade

50% of woolen exports are from Rouen in the 18th century. Textile is a driving force of the regional economy as exportations in value accounted for about 800 worker’s annual wages.

It is specifically interesting when studying the effect of exogenous shocks on trade: from diseases decimating Spanish herds and increasing wool prices, to trade treaties with England. Especially the 1786 treaty with England had important repercussions on French manufacturers. Although drapers thought they could resist the competition with English manufacturers, merchandises sent to England remained unsold thus resulting in huge losses for the French.

Exports to colonies through other countries such as Spain can also complicate the visualization of trade.

Finally an important characteristic of this trade is its role in providing species. It is in the interest of local producers to equilibrate financial flows: France exports woolens to Italy partly to pay for raw silk imports.. Trade works thanks to a compensation system in order to ensure sufficient liquidity for merchants.

Comparing with other sources

The balance of trade data can be compared to the enquiry in 1765-1766 by John Holker.

On the democratization of medicinal products (P. Hollegien)


Three main themes were discussed: methodological issues, descriptive analysis and some proofs of the democratization of the usage of medicinal products.

How to classify products?

Considering the wide diversity of remedies, identifying medicinal products is a challenge. Some are specifically dedicated to medicine (mostly products from purgative medicine) while others can be used for other purposes and can hardly be representative of the evolution of the medical habits. To tackle this problem, the classification is based on the following principle: products are classified as medicinal products if they have as primary usage or are exclusively used for medicine purposes.

Another problem to be dealt with is the variation of names and measures across time and sources as the TOFLIT project gathers multiple sources. However after a comparison between sources (1788), the retained classification seems to be proper enough to compare different sources.

Descriptive analysis

Although there was a mistake with the specification of the weight in the regression, the descriptive analysis enables us to conclude that the value of medicinal products traded over the period 1718-1839 has increased more than the population growth, especially for the period after 1771 where imports per capita increased at an annual rate of 1.5%. It also highlighted that the main products imported are those from America and the Levant.

Finally it raised the problem of import flows that are re-exported. This is an important limit in the current presentation.

On democratization

In this part regressions on prices and quantities supported the initial hypothesis. Indeed while prices are going down (which is even more obvious if we consider relative prices), imported and exported quantities are going up. In terms of nominal values it seems to indicate that there are enough quantities for the entire population to benefit from these products.

However this analysis is balanced by the classification weaknesses. Are we witnessing the rise of medicines usage or is it due to a transfer from polypharmacy to purgative medicine (which is better captured in our data)? Other concerns were raised on the Napoléon era as duty borders evolved and duties changed.

On the project Ricardo (P. Girard & B. Dedinger)

The presentation started with a summary of the objectives of the Ricardo projects and the website visualization. Today the project has reached 267,000 inputs on 4,500 locations and 1,459 aggregated entities. From that point a discussion started on what kind of aggregated data should be available via the website.

The key concern was how to display data with a friendly visualization when countries, denominations and norms evolved across time. What can be gathered and what cannot. A solution is to differentiate two categories: rough data and refined data.

The main conclusions were to either open the website and wait for feedbacks, or define a specific target publics for the website (e.g. school teachers or academics) and modify data according to what these publics are looking for.

On coding standards and classifications (G. Daudin & L. Charles)

As noted in previous presentation, data from old registers and manuscripts are subject to several difficulties:

  • Different sources not standardized (different name for a same commodity, etc…)
  • Different norms: norms are established by the administration but practices among clerks vary depending on the aggregation level (Local or national) and their personal involvement.
  • Transcription errors

Thus how should we gather merchandises, geographic areas and unit measures?

As for Ricardo, the debate was articulated around the level of correction / simplification / aggregation we should perform on the data base.


The idea of any kind of classifications (SITC for example) has been widely criticized and the rule we decided to apply is the following: we should keep one column where we would perform orthographic corrections only (Semicolons will be kept and we will use the singular for all merchandises). Classification aspects will be dealt with in the next section.


The initial presentation is available here :

Charles – Daudin — Normes de codage


On the data template (P. Girard & G. Plique)

Paul and Guillaume proposed a system based on 6 facets:

  • Measurement units
  • Merchandises
  • Partners
  • Direction-bureau
  • Origin
  • Sources

The idea is to be able to explore every flow through these 6 facets (flows from specific countries, merchandises, sources… through the spectrum of the other facets). Users could choose what they want to visualize and then download the data.

On a different tab, the user could select its own classification. To deal with the problem of aggregated data, each user could create a classification according to what he needs (or use classifications from other users). From the first classification (the orthographic one), a user can add new layers of classification and aggregate more data. If one user believes one layer is wrong, he can simply create a new one based on a less aggregated layer.

This is illustrated in this (blurred) picture

20150605_164840 (1)

The idea is thus to move from free tags to classified tags. The user could use a tool working like Open Refine so he can navigate through classification easily and find phonetic or morphologic resemblances.


  • How can we treat metrics as they depend on multiple facets ? Paul wants to convert the database into the metric system before so the user has not to choose.
  • A problem remains for observation (mostly countries) that can be normalized as A for a specific point in time and B for another (for example annexed regions).
  • We must think on how to add a user friendly .pdf file to link products to their definitions.
  • Finally it must be possible in the first tab to compare two different ways of aggregating data.

Economists need to make a list of information / tools they want.

Next Steps


  • Guillaume Plique starts working on the datascape in July
  • All the available data should be in the box at the end of August.
  • Pierre Gervais is in charge of the orthographic corrections from merchandises and thus creating the first layer of aggregations (only orthographic corrections).
  • 01/2016: Guillaume Plique will stop working with us by the end of January, thus the datascape must be ready.
  • 01/2016: Big internal meeting to evaluate the datascape.
  • 03-06/2016: Workshop in Chicago to showcase the work realized (it would be great if some economists had papers to present)
  • End 2016: Open meeting on databases (with O’Rourke, David Jacks, Nikolaus Wolf, Giovanni Federico, etc…)
  • ??? : Compare data available on the Navigocorpus project
  • Set an economist meeting to discuss on tools needed.

Soon, Guillaume D. will upload new database on the Live Drive so economists can have a look at the latest version available. The credentials to connect to the LiveDrive are available from Guillaume

Finally we need to upload an Excel file with data available according to their sources.

Next meeting is July 2nd at 10am at the Medialab.


May 5th, 2015 meeting

May 5th meeting

Attending: Emmanuelle Lavallée, Ivan Ledezma, Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, Cyril Mouton and Pierre Hollegien.

1-Team Management

First we welcome Cyril Mouton, student in Paris-Dauphine, who will work with us for three months. He will be working at least on data transcription and databases.


The budget discussion has taken place in SciencesPo. It appears that SciencesPo has still 9000€  available for missions, as  only 2 have been financed yet.

The purchasing budget for a second computer will be allocated in advance. Moreover it appears that we will not have to pay to use the servers. In that case, the 4500€ will be allocated for other purposes:

  • To design the platform?
  • To extend Guillaume P. contract for 1 month (only)?

The Medialab has  paid for the TOFLIT LiveDrive.


A paper will be submitted to the Historical Methods review (rank A) on data development.
Paul is still hesitating on how to integer the technical parts in this paper. The website should be mentioned but there will be no special focus on it. The paper should insist on the construction of the database (scripts, data cleaning, etc…). The visualization part will not be the paper’s major point. This new database should be available online but the format is not yet well defined (.csv, SQLite ?). To construct this new database, Heurist or GitHub will be used.
The paper should be finished before  summer.

The website it  not ready yet. However a workshop will take place in early July (6-7 ?) to finish it. Beatrice, Paul, Guillaume D. (?) and a developers team will attend.



GitHub is working just fine but the size limit could be reached soon. We currently have 319 000 trade flows, 27 000 merchandises and 10 000 normalised merchandises.
Several questions remain unsolved:

  • How many digits after the decimal point?  2  or more ?
  •  We have lost some information because of uncontrolled scientific notation. Pierre and Paul are retrieving the data.
  •  What to do with commodities with different quantity units and reported twice? Same for taxes. For now we carry on with our notation system (2 lines in the first case, 1 extra column in the second case)


  •  Cyril is working on colonial trade flows. They will be available by the end of summer.
  •  Bayonne’s imports are ready but the whole will be available by the end of June only. As for Marseille we might need to wait until the end of summer (except for years 1730, 49, & 51)
  • Rennes, Rouen and Caen are available but need to be reviewed.
  • 1789 (Direction) is on its way as Ahmed is working on it. He might finish La Rochelle as well if he has enough time. Two major “Directions” will then remain : Besançon & Lyon
  • There might be something in Lyon (Archives de la Chambre de Commerce)
  • As decided, the retranscription of some years remain unscheduled for Bordeaux / Rennes / Marseille / Nantes. Maybe we need to hire a new intern ? If so we might also deal with 1792-1793 data.


Guillaume Plique will work with us from July 1st to January 2016. He already has enough materials to start working on the project.
Interns might migrate with Loic to the INED during the second week of July. To confirm.

For next year:

  •  The database should be ready soon, and will remain unchanged so economists and IT can work on it.
  •  Task 2 is postponed to next year.
  •  End of January: Guillaume P.  will have completed his work.

Three big meetings are scheduled for 2016:

  • an internal meeting in January 2016 to discuss the result of Guillaume Plique’s work
  • a workshop in Chicago in March or June  2016. We will need to have a few results to present. We could spend half a day on data management and half day on economists’ achievements.
  • an open meeting at the end of  2016 gathering people working on databases. That could be in the continuation of the meeting organized by Nikolaus Wolf in October 2015 in Berlin

7-Research perspectives

Loïc will use Gephi to perform a regional analysis with commodities.
Ivan and Emmanuelle suggested using the data to test a weak form of the Law of Comparative Advantage using  a vector of autarky prices (prices during war time in 1760?) and international trade data during an «open» period.
It is not clear yet how they will be able to determine autarky prices as prices from TOFLIT are those obtained from trade.

Another issue is how to aggregate commodities. If we are doing aggregates, the current SITC one might serve. Another one would be the Revolution and Empire categories.

We could also work on  well-known commodities instead of aggregates.

Other ideas have emerged:

  •  Work on protected sectors (especially the painted canvas trade and other regulated goods).
  • Terms of trade evolution
  • Effects of Revolutionary / Napoleonic wars on economy (demographic impact)
  • With the end of colonial trade, we could try to establish a reverse Dutch Disease for France. Indeed colonial commodities might be considered as natural resources at the disposal of France that vanished during the last decade of the 18th century.

Next meeting is scheduled at 9 am, at the Médialab on June 5th. The provisional program is available here.