Fissuring, Data-Driven Governance, and Platform Economy Labor Standards
14 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017 Last revised: 5 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 2018
To better illuminate how platform economy firms such as Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Deliveroo are impacting workers' welfare, this paper disaggregates two aspects of industrial organization in low-wage labor markets today. It maps prominent low-wage firms onto a grid that seeks to capture (a) the statutory legal entitlements enjoyed by those firms’ workers, and (b) those firms’ technological and regulatory sophistication, as suggested by their market size and geographic scope. Such an approach illuminates different trajectories of change within particular industrial sectors. It also suggests that with appropriate legal reforms some workers, including drivers and domestic workers, may benefit in the long run from moving to a large, technologically sophisticated labor platform.
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