The Impact of the Collaborative Economy on the Labour Market

CEPS Special Report No. 138

34 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2016

See all articles by Willem De Groen

Willem De Groen

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Ilaria Maselli

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: June 3, 2016

Abstract

The digitalisation of work is creating new ways of intermediating work, with for example platforms intermediating work between individuals online. These so-called online collaborative platforms have the potential to fundamentally change the labour market, but for the moment, with an estimated 100,000 active workers or 0.05% of total employees in the EU, they do seem to have a large impact on the offline/traditional labour market or the create/destroy impetus.

This paper analyses the direct and indirect impact of the collaborative economy on the labour market. The findings, based on a collection of empirical studies, suggest that most workers do not earn their main income through online platforms and they obtain earnings from different types of platforms. Earnings from physical/local services are, in general, substantially higher than virtual services that can potentially be delivered globally. The paper also assesses the conditions, number of hours worked and employment status, compared to the offline labour market, and finds shows large differences across types of workers, platforms, and countries.

The emergence of online collaborative platforms poses some challenges and opportunities for policy-makers. On the one hand, they may be challenged to ensure minimum remuneration, fair evaluation, tax declaration and social protection, and reduction of the administrative burden. On the other hand, the new technologies may provide opportunities to (partially) liberate some professional services and activate specific groups at a distance away from the labour market.

This paper was commissioned by the European Commission as input into its European Agenda for the Collaborative Economy. This Agenda will take account of the direct and indirect impact of the collaborative economy on the labour market.

Keywords: collaborative economy, labour market, digitalisation, collaborative platforms, virtual services

Suggested Citation

De Groen, Willem and Maselli, Ilaria, The Impact of the Collaborative Economy on the Labour Market (June 3, 2016). CEPS Special Report No. 138. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2790788

Willem De Groen (Contact Author)

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Ilaria Maselli

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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