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Gig-Labor: Trading Safety Nets for Steering Wheels

Vyacheslav Fos, Naser Hamdi, Ankit Kalda and Jordan Nickerson

No 13885, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This paper shows that the introduction of the "gig-economy" changes the way employees respond to job loss. Using a comprehensive set of Uber product launch dates and employee-level data on job separations, we show that laid-off employees with access to Uber are less likely to apply for UI benefits, rely less on household debt, and experience fewer delinquencies. Our empirical strategy is based on a triple difference-in-difference empirical model, comparing the difference in outcome variables 1) pre- and post-layoff, 2) before and after Uber enters a market, and 3) between workers with and without the ability to participate on the ride-sharing platform (car-owners inferred from auto credit histories). In support of our identification strategy, we find no apparent pre-existing difference in outcomes in the months leading up to Uber's entry into a market. Moreover, the effects are severely attenuated for workers with an auto lease, for whom the viability of participating on the ride-sharing platform is significantly reduced. Overall, our findings show that the introduction Uber had a profound effect on labor markets.

Keywords: credit delinquencies; gig-economy; Household Debt; labor markets; Unemployment insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 E24 H53 J23 J65 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ias, nep-lab, nep-mac and nep-tre
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