The Gig Economy
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Matthew Shapiro, University of Michigan
The Evolution of the Online Platform Economy: Evidence from Five Years of Banking
AbstractIn this paper the JPMorgan Chase Institute leverages checking account transactional data on millions of US households to document the evolution of participant earnings from Online Platform Economy. Our period of analysis begins in October 2012 and ends in mid-2018 – an addition of two years of data over our last publication. We track payments from over 100 labor and capital platforms in order to observe the entrance, growth and distribution of earnings and participation. We describe how the demographic profile of participants and their reliance on platform earnings has evolved over time. We also examine the Online Platform Economy by city and compare the growth in participation to falling unemployment rates across cities. We document empirical relationships among platform earnings, non-platform earnings, and consumer spending in order to explore the roles that the Online Platform Economy may play in households’ management of cash flow.
What Do Big Data Tell Us About Why People Take Gig Economy Jobs?
AbstractThe gig economy is widely regarded to be a source of secondary or temporary income. There are now numerous studies examining the behavior of individuals on a particular gig economy platform, but little is known about their economic activity outside of the gig economy. Using data from a large, online personal finance application, I document the evolution of non-gig income and household balance sheets surrounding the participation decision for gig economy jobs. This simple analysis reveals striking pretrends in income and assets. In addition to providing insight into the reasons why households enter the gig economy, these findings have potentially important implications for the external validity of previous studies focusing on gig economy activity only.
Older Workers and the Gig Economy
AbstractAs the workforce ages and lifespans lengthen, how will the work lives of older people evolve? One possible way to ease into retirement is for workers to move to the Gig Economy where they can choose hours and intensity of work that fit their needs and capabilities. We look at age/wage profiles of workers in the traditional labor market and compare that to the age/wage profile of Uber drivers. We show that the move to the Gig Economy generates flexibility, it also moves pay closer to a spot market where they earn (presumably) their marginal product. As a result, at least in this context, older workers are paid less than their younger co-workers. This highlights the trade-off between flexibility and pay that workers face if they choose "partial retirement" to the Gig Economy.
- J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor