The Value of Face-to-Face: Travel and the Information Costs of Trade

Research Note
Published on 15 September 2016


Distance between buyers and sellers can create information problems that pose a barrier to trade. By collecting new data on a sample of Nigerian importers, and connecting transaction details to trade process variables (such as whether the trader travelled), the researchers show that frequent, costly travel by Nigerian traders to meet with suppliers abroad is symptomatic of underlying information problems.


Shelby Grossman

Stanford University

Meredith Startz

Dartmouth College