NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Thomas N. Hubbard

NBER Working Paper No. 8525
Issued in October 2001
NBER Program(s):   IO   PR

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 this empirically by looking at how on-board computer (OBC) adoption has affected capacity utilization in the trucking industry. Estimates using 1997 data indicate that capacity utilization has increased by an average of 13% among trucks for which advanced OBCs have been adopted. The average benefits to adopters are higher in 1997 than 1992, suggesting lags to the returns to adoption, and are highly skewed across hauls. The 1997 estimates imply that OBC-enabled improvements in communications and resource allocation decisions have led to a 3% increase in capacity utilization in the industry, which translates to billions of dollars of annual benefits. The commercialization of other wireless networking applications has the potential to generate analogous benefits in other contexts.

download in pdf format
   (345 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (345 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8525

Published: Hubbard, Thomas N. "Information, Decisions, And Productivity: On-Board Computers And Capacity Utilization In Trucking," American Economic Review, 2003, v93(4,Sep), 1328-1353.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Goodfriend and King The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy
Dean and Harper The BLS Productivity Measurement Program
Fuchs and Wilburn INTRODUCTION to "Productivity Differences within the Service Sector"
Zarnowitz The Regularity of Business Cycles
Borenstein and Rose How Airline Markets Work…or Do They? Regulatory Reform in the Airline Industry
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us