Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Zook

Abstract

This dissertation seeks to provide insight to how e-commerce adoption and utilization change the condition of U.S. Manufacturing establishments, by answering two interrelated questions: (1) What are the characteristics of manufacturing establishments that were early adopters of e-commerce activities?; (2) Once e-commerce is adopted, how has adoption affected employment within manufacturing establishments? The U.S. manufacturing industry was selected for analysis as manufacturing has been and continues to be an important sector for employment and the overall U.S. economy and has been the primary sector responsible for the majority of Business-to-Business e-commerce activity.

Using two econometric models, seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) and three stage-least squares (3SLS), this dissertation confirms previous research pertaining to the characteristics of firms that were early adopters of e-commerce. However, this dissertation also provides insights for how manufacturing firms change after the implementation of e-commerce. Specifically, findings suggest that e-commerce adoption has a negative effect on manufacturing jobs between 1999 and 2005. Simultaneously, the loss in jobs does not translate into an increase in wages for those still employed. The findings of this dissertation also do not provide a positive outlook for a “spatially equitable landscape” to develop via the dissemination of e-commerce in the U.S. manufacturing industry. Rather, the results suggest that the application of e-commerce will continue to reinforce the geographical advantages of firms in urban areas verses those located in more rural areas.

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