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Who Benefits from Online Gig Economy Platforms?

Christopher T. Stanton and Catherine Thomas

No 29477, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper estimates the magnitude and distribution of surplus from the knowledge worker gig economy using data from an online labor market. Labor demand elasticities determine workers’ wages, and buyers’ past market experience shapes both their job posting frequency and hiring rates. We find that workers on the supply side capture around 40% of the surplus from filled jobs. Under counterfactual policies that resemble traditional employment regulation, buyers post fewer online jobs and fill posted jobs less often, reducing expected surplus for all market participants. We find negligible substitution on the demand side between online and offline jobs by assessing how changes in local offline minimum wages affect online hiring. The results suggest that neither online or offline knowledge workers will benefit from applying traditional employment regulation to the online gig economy.

JEL-codes: F66 J23 J8 L24 L51 M5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-knm, nep-lma and nep-pay
Note: IO LS PR
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