Customer‐Employee Substitution: Evidence from Gasoline Stations
21 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2017
Date Written: Winter 2017
We document the adoption of self‐service pumps in U.S. gasoline stations from 1977 to 1992. Using establishment‐level data from the Census of Retail Trade over this period, we show that self‐service stations employ approximately one quarter fewer attendants per pump, all else equal. The work done by these attendants has shifted to customers, biasing upward conventional measures of productivity growth.
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