The Digital Economy and Its Implications for Labour: 1. The Platform Economy
Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 2017, Vol. 23(2) 103–119, DOI: 10.1177/1024258917701380.
4 Pages Posted: 29 May 2017
Date Written: April 1, 2017
The digitalisation of the economy refers to how ICT is transforming what goods and services we produce, how we produce them and where we produce them. This touches upon many aspects of society: how labour is being exchanged on digital platforms, how consumers are becoming producers (so-called prosumers), how mass production is being recalibrated to local micro-production, how underused asset capacity can be shared at close to zero marginal cost, how enterprises are revisiting their decisions on where to produce in view of the use of robots, how new monopolies are emerging and, last, but not least, the implications of Big Data for economic structures. All these issues have major implications for how we organise our societies, how we tax, how we regulate labour markets, how we organise our welfare states and, in particular, how trade union actions can address these new challenges. While the line of research on innovation cycles and transformation of markets is longstanding, social sciences today are trying to understand the wider implications of the digitalisation of the economy. The literature is fast growing, but it is still asking more questions than it is answering with regard to what we are observing. Transfer will in 2017 publish two issues on the theme of ‘The digital economy and its implications for labour’. This first issue will focus on the specific theme of labour platforms, addressing in particular regulatory issues, while the second issue will engage with broader themes such as the Keynesian consumption dilemma and Basic Income.
Keywords: digitalisation, work, employment, online labour platforms
JEL Classification: J08
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation