Information, Decisions, and Productivity: On-Board Computers and Capacity Utilization in Trucking
Posted: 4 Apr 2003
Productivity reflects not only how efficiently inputs are transformed into outputs, but also how well information is brought to bear on resource allocation decisions. This paper examines how information technology has affected capacity utilization in the trucking industry. Estimates using 1997 data indicate that advanced on-board computers (OBCs) have increased capacity utilization among adopting trucks by 13 percent. These increases are higher in 1997 than 1992, suggesting lags in the returns to adoption, and are highly skewed across hauls. The 1997 estimates imply that OBC use has enabled 3 percent higher capacity utilization in the industry, which translates to billions of dollars of annual benefits.
JEL Classification: D24, L92, O33, O47
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