July 2023

IZA DP No. 16345: Effects of E-commerce on Local Labor Markets

This paper studies the effect of e-commerce on local labor markets. We exploit cross-market variation in e-commerce price advantage stemming from the enactment of the Amazon Tax-state-level legislation that mandates state sales taxes collection to out-of-state online retailers. Introducing out-of-state sales taxes lowered employment and reduced wages in transportation and warehousing, industries complementary to e-commerce. Within the in-state retail sector, the decline in brick-and-mortar employment is somewhat offset by an increase in employment in warehouse clubs and supercenters. Our results are consistent with a general equilibrium model in which consumers substitute e-commerce for big-box purchases, crowding out brick-and-mortar retail.