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An Econometric Analysis of the Impact of Technology on the Work Lives of Truck Drivers

Monaco, Kristin A. and Belman, Dale L. (2004) An Econometric Analysis of the Impact of Technology on the Work Lives of Truck Drivers. [Industry Studies Working Paper:2004-09]



We investigate the relationship between technology and drivers’ work lives using data from the UMTIP Driver Survey. Focusing first on which types of drivers are more likely to use satellite technology, we find that drivers in private carriage, union drivers, and those paid by the hour or as percent of revenue are least likely to drive trucks equipped with SBS. The largest firms are most likely to equip their trucks with SBS, providing some evidence of scale effects of this technology. There is also evidence that SBS technology is used as a substitute for experience. Examining the impact of satellite technology on worker outcomes, we find that SBS does more than simply lower drivers’ pay. Consistent with the skill-bias hypothesis, drivers who use satellite systems may be paid less per mile. In contrast, drivers on satellite-equipped trucks realize 17.6% higher annual earnings. The higher earnings are due to the increased mileage of such drivers, about 22,000 additional miles per year. Part of this mileage gain is explained by efficiencies provided by these systems, but drivers with satellites also work 14% more hours weekly. The increased hours would account for approximately 60 percent of the increase in mileage; the remaining 40 percent is associated with improved productivity and is captured entirely by the firm. The overall finding, that technology improves productivity and earnings but intensifies and lengthens the workday, is consistent with sociological studies of technology (Graham, 1995).

Industry Studies Series #:2004-09
Item Type:Industry Studies Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords:industry studies, industry studies working paper, industry studies association, industry studies research
ID Code:48
Deposited By:Mr Robin Peterson
Deposited On:18 Feb 2010 13:54
Last Modified:07 Jun 2010 10:44

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