Ginger Z. Jin

3115 G Tydings Hall
College Park, MD 20742
(301) 405-3484



Current Research

My main focus is empirical research in industrial organization.  I am currently mainly working on several projects that investigate how information affects the organization of firms and markets.  I do so by examining relationships between technological and organizational change in the trucking industry.

There are two new papers in this research agenda.

The first, co-authored with George Baker, is entitled "Make or Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information."  This examines how the diffusion of on-board computers have affected shippers' decision whether to use internal divisions or for-hire carriers to transport goods.  We find that firms' boundaries reflect both the appropriation issues identified by Grossman and Hart (1986) and the job design and measurement cost issues highlighted in Holmstrom and Milgrom (1994).  We also find that OBCs' incentive-improving capabilities have different affects on firms' boundaries from their resource-allocation-improving capabilities; the former leads to larger, more integrated firms, the latter leads to smaller, less integrated firms.

The second is more preliminary.  It investigates how much OBCs have increased productivity in the industry.  I find evidence that OBCs have led to sizable increases in capacity utilization -- at least 10% among adopters.  In the aggregate, the evidence suggests that OBCs have led to billions of dollars of benefits annually within the industry, and were non-trivial contributors to overall economic growth in the U.S. in the 1990s. Another paper, co-authored with George Baker, is entitled "Contractibility and Asset Ownership: On-Board Computers and Governance in U.S. Trucking."  The latest version, dated March 2000 is available below.  This tests implications from Grossman and Hart (1986) by examining how on-board computer adoption affects whether truck drivers own the trucks they operate. Another recent paper is entitled "Contractual Form and Market Thickness in Trucking."  A new version, dated April 2000, is now available. The first paper within this project is now titled "The Demand for Monitoring Technologies: The Case of Trucking."  A new draft, dated June 1999 and forthcoming in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, is now available.  Email me for a copy.

Finally, "Governance Structure in the Deregulated Trucking Industry," is the predecessor to "Contractual Form..." but also analyzes changes in contracting between 1987 and 1992.

Another part of my research concerns how the extent to which consumers are informed about product quality affects equilibrium price and quality in imperfectly competitive markets.  This project is complementary to previous work that I have done using data from vehicle inspections in California.  Three of the older papers are below.  Email me for copies of the latter two. [Reading a document in PDF format requires that you download a reader such as Adobe Acrobat, available for free at]

All unpublished material Copyright Thomas N. Hubbard.

Other Stuff

Old Class Materials

Below are links to materials I used for classes I taught in the economics department at UCLA.  The graduate course materials includes discussion questions for many of the papers I covered in the course.  All unpublished materials are copyright Thomas N. Hubbard, but individual teachers are welcome to use them for classroom purposes.

Econ 171. Industrial Organization: Theory and Tactics

Econ 174. Theory of the Firm

Econ 271c. Empirical Methods in Industrial Organization

Other Economics Links

Other Stuff

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at

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