Vinokurov E. (ed.), Libman A., Sherov-Ignatiev V. (2014) Regional Integration Database (RID): Methodology, Composition, and Indicators. EDB Centre for Integration Studies Report no. 27. EDB: St. Petersburg
The Regional Integration Database (RID) is an applied research project implemented by Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) Centre for Integration Studies. The Centre is a think-tank incorporated into the EDB and entrusted with applied research on the matter of regional integration. It is located in St. Petersburg, Russia. The scope of its reports and analytical notes ranges from macroeconomic modelling and monetary affairs to trade, investment, international organizations, and sociology and politics of integration.1 The starting point of the RID was actually the establishment and rapid advancement of the Eurasian Economic Union. In order for the EEU to advance properly and function efficiently, both positive and negative global experience in regional integration should be taken into account. To this end the Centre for Integration Studies created this database. We made it public both in English and Russian and intend to update and enrich the RID constantly. The unique feature of this database is that it lists not only “classic” multilateral agreements on free trade between countries, all customs and economic unions of the world, and “the unions of unions” (agreements between customs unions), but also comprises data on river basin organisations (focusing on the creation and development of shared infrastructure) and regional fora. It also includes new ‘megadeals’ such as the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, among others. Overall, the Regional Integration Database contains data on 92 regional integration organizations and agreements. These organisations and agreements are analysed with more than 130 indicators, including trade flows, investment, budget, currency and finance, institutional development, and political aspects. The variables contained in the database may be of interest to economists, political analysts, sociologists, and international relations specialists. These include macroeconomic variables and indicators of mutual trade, foreign trade parameters, the institutional structure of the groupings, the indicators of economic and political asymmetry and political regimes in member states, their influence on the world politics, the existence of military conflicts between them, and publicly available information about their secretariats and budgets. These are a small portion of indicators. The RID is expected to become the best database in its class since it provides the comprehensive and most up-to-date information on regional economic integration. Out next tasks would be to (1) constantly improve the quality of data, (2) extend the scope of the database and (3) implement a software solution that would enable researchers to work with the database in a more efficient manner. Currently it is fully available in Excel format. The EDB Centre for Integration Studies encourages researchers to use the RID to solve theoretical and empirical tasks. We will be glad to obtain any proposals and feedback regarding the database usage.