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.