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Information, Decisions, and Productivity: On-Board Computers and Capacity Utilization in Trucking

  • Thomas N. Hubbard
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    Productivity reflects not only how efficiently inputs are transformed into outputs, but also how well information is applied to resource allocation decisions. This paper examines how information technology has affected capacity utilization in the trucking industry. Estimates for 1997 indicate that advanced on-board computers (OBCs) have increased capacity utilization among adopting trucks by 13 percent. These increases are higher than for 1992, suggesting lags in the returns to adoption, and are highly skewed across hauls. The 1997 estimates imply that OBCs have enabled 3-percent higher capacity utilization in the industry, which translates to billions of dollars of annual benefits. (JEL D24, L92, O33, O47)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282803769206322
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 1328-1353

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:4:p:1328-1353
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803769206322
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    1. Lichtenberg, F.R. & Lehr, B., 1996. "Computer Use and Productivity Growth in federal Government Agencies," Papers 96-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
    2. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," NBER Working Papers 7833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Thomas N. Hubbard, 2000. "The Demand For Monitoring Technologies: The Case Of Trucking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 533-560, May.
    5. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996. "Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
    6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U. S. Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1911, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
    8. Erik Brynjolfsson & Shinkyu Yang, 1997. "Information Technology and Productivity: A Review of the Literature," Working Paper Series 202, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
    9. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1993. "The Output Contributions of Computer Equipment and Personnel: A Firm- Level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
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