Did Internet Kill the Retail Trade Star? Using Google Trends to Estimate the Impact of E-Commerce on Retail Employment

11 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2017

See all articles by David Vitt

David Vitt

Farmingdale State College

Date Written: November 19, 2017

Abstract

Within-state variation in the search frequency for “amazon” at Google is used to measure the industry specific impact of e-commerce on retail employment. To instrument for exogenous variation in e-commerce exposure, I rely on random variation in consumer’s use of the Internet for tasks like “porn” and “cat videos” as measured by Google Trends. My estimates suggest there are differential impacts of e-commerce across industries. E-commerce behaves as a technology that augments demand for labor in at least 11 of the 27 retail industry groups, while labor demand decreases in at least 9 of the retail industry groups.

Keywords: Google Trends, Retail, E-Commerce, Employment, Internet

JEL Classification: L20, L81, J21, J29, J4

Suggested Citation

Vitt, David, Did Internet Kill the Retail Trade Star? Using Google Trends to Estimate the Impact of E-Commerce on Retail Employment (November 19, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3074132 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3074132

David Vitt (Contact Author)

Farmingdale State College ( email )

School of Busines
Farmingdale, NY 11735

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