Income Security in the On-Demand Economy: Findings and Policy Lessons from a Survey of Crowdworkers

27 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2016

See all articles by Janine Berg

Janine Berg

International Labour Office

Date Written: March 1, 2016

Abstract

This article assesses the validity of many of the assumptions made about work in the on-demand economy and analyses whether proposals advanced for improving workers’ income security are sufficient for remedying current shortcomings. It draws on findings from a survey of crowdworkers conducted in late 2015 on the Amazon Mechanical Turk and Crowdflower platforms on workers’ employment patterns, work histories, and financial security. Based on this information, it provides an analysis of crowdworkers’ economic dependence on the platform, including the share of workers who depend on crowdwork as their main source of income, as well as their working conditions, the problems they encounter while crowdworking and their overall income security. Based on these findings, the article recommends an alternative way of organizing work that can improve the income security of crowdworkers as well as overall efficiency and productivity of crowdwork.

Keywords: crowdwork, on-demand economy, income security, wages, non-standard employment

JEL Classification: J3, J4, K31

Suggested Citation

Berg, Janine, Income Security in the On-Demand Economy: Findings and Policy Lessons from a Survey of Crowdworkers (March 1, 2016). Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740940

Janine Berg (Contact Author)

International Labour Office ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

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