Work in the Platform Economy: Beyond Lower Transaction Costs

Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, 52, November/December, pp. 335-340 DOI10.1007/s10272-017-0700-9

6 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2017 Last revised: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Jan Drahokoupil

Jan Drahokoupil

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES); European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)

Agnieszka Piasna

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)

Date Written: November 23, 2017

Abstract

Labour platforms provide a matching service, linking demand for labour with its supply. They thus enable access to labour to be organised on market principles, even in contexts where the use of a matching service has proven to be too costly or where market failures have required a reliance on institutions such as the employment relationship and/or the use of established firms as service providers. Market-making through lowering transaction costs, and thus also addressing market failures, is key to understanding the nature of the platform economy. However, the notion of reduced transaction costs alone is not sufficient to understand the impact of market-making by platforms. The process actually entails a shifting of the costs, or risks, between the actors in the market place. The outcomes of such a redistribution of costs and risks are mediated by institutions, or regulations, and the market power of the actors. The differences among the latter not only structure the relative position of workers vis-à-vis employers/clients, but also condition the impacts on individual groups of workers. More specifically, this can be discussed in relation to three key aspects of the organisation of matching through platforms.

Keywords: Labour Market, Online Platforms, Work, Working Conditions, Labour Market Regulation

JEL Classification: J01, J08

Suggested Citation

Drahokoupil, Jan and Piasna, Agnieszka, Work in the Platform Economy: Beyond Lower Transaction Costs (November 23, 2017). Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, 52, November/December, pp. 335-340 DOI10.1007/s10272-017-0700-9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3076472

Jan Drahokoupil (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://drahokoupil.blogspot.com

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) ( email )

B-1210 Brussels
Belgium

Agnieszka Piasna

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) ( email )

B-1210 Brussels
Belgium

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