Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Information Frictions in Trade
by Allen, David West, III, Ph.D., Yale University, 2012, 90; 3525204
Abstract (Summary)

It is costly to acquire information about markets in other places, especially m developing countries. In this dissertation, I examine the effect of such information frictions on trade. I embed a process where heterogeneous producers sequentially search across regions to determine where to sell their produce into a perfect competition Ricardian trade model. Information frictions explain the empirical failure of price arbitrage and provide new insight into how market conditions affect trade flows. Using a data set assemble on regional agricultural trade in the Philippines, I show that observed trade flows and prices suggest the presence of substantial information frictions. I then structurally estimate the model to disentangle information frictions from transportation costs. I find that (1) estimated transportation costs are half as large as those implied by complete information models and more consistent with observed freight costs; and (2) the vast majority (93 percent) of the "gravity" relationship between trade flows and distance can be attributed to information frictions rather than transportation costs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Arkolakis, Costas
School: Yale University
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics
Keywords: Gravity equation, Information frictions, Philippines, Traders
Publication Number: 3525204
ISBN: 9781267574893