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We have used studies of single grain boundaries in YBCO thin films and bulk bicrystals to study the influence of vortex pinning along a grain boundary on dissipation. The critical current density for transport across grain boundaries in thin films is typically more than an order of magnitude larger than that measured for transport across grain boundaries in bulk samples. For low misorientation angles, the difference in critical current density within the grains that form the boundary can contribute to the substantial differences in current density measured across the boundary. However, substantial differences exist in the critical current density across boundaries in thin film compared to bulk bicrystals even in the higher angle regime in which grain boundary dissipation dominates. The differences in critical current density in this regime can be understood on the basis of vortex pinning along the boundary.