Forthcoming in the AER:
I develop a novel view of the trade frictions between rich and poor countries by arguing that to reconcile bilateral trade volumes and price data within a standard gravity model, the trade frictions between rich and poor countries must be systematically asymmetric, with poor countries facing higher costs to export relative to rich countries.
I provide a method to model these asymmetries and demonstrate the merits of my approach relative to alternatives in the trade literature. I then argue that these trade frictions are quantitatively important to understanding the large differences in standards of living and total factor productivity across countries.
Available ungated at the Minneapolis Fed.