Working for Whom? New Evidence on the Incidence of Independent Contracting
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: David Weil, Brandeis University
Gig and Other Contract Work: Developing Better Measures in Household Surveys
AbstractEvidence on the prevalence and growth in contract work arrangements is scant and sometimes conflicting. Tax data suggest that in recent years there has been a sizable increase in the share of workers who are self-employed, largely in what appear to be independent contractor and gig jobs, while household surveys such as the CPS and ACS show no rise in self-employment. We have developed a survey module on various types of contract and casual work that is included on a daily phone survey of individuals administered by Gallup. For some questions, respondents are randomly assigned to alternative versions to determine the sensitivity of responses to alternative wording. The survey is designed to thoroughly document various types of contract and casual work and the characteristics of workers in these arrangements. It also may shed light on possible reasons for the discrepancies in trends across data sources and inform the design of future household surveys. In this paper, we present preliminary findings based on about 30,000 responses.
Independent Contracting as Measured by IRS Records
AbstractIndependent Contracting as Measured by IRS Records
Consumption Insurance and Multiple Jobs: Evidence from Rideshare Drivers
AbstractEmerging rideshare jobs promise workers more choice over their hours. Does this increased flexibility help workers smooth income shocks? A sample of approximately 18,000 rideshare drivers is analyzed from a large, online personal financial service containing information on rideshare income, outside income, spending, and liquid assets. Debt and high credit card utilization are key predictors of participation in ridesharing. In the period after starting ridesharing, rideshare income replaces 73 percent of income losses from main payroll jobs. Sensitivity of spending to main income falls by 82 percent, suggesting substantial increases in consumption smoothing. Matching these empirical findings to a structural intertemporal labor supply model with credit and labor frictions implies benefits from flexible second jobs of over $1,800 per year. The results suggest the value of leisure is relatively low for this group of workers, which has important implications for understanding the welfare costs of income fluctuations.
- J0 - General