Gig Economy and Market Design. Why to Regulate the Market of Jobs Carried Out Through Digital Platforms

13 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018 Last revised: 13 Jan 2018

Date Written: January 2, 2018


The most recent studies have focused on the classification of the working activities carried out by the so-called “riders,” differentiating between self-employment and employment, suggesting the reintroduction of other types of working arrangements (so-called “quasi-subordinate” or “coordinated” employment), or pointing to the inadequacy of domestic legal frameworks in enforcing protection in relation to wage, working time, monitoring, union freedoms, and strike. The present essay is centred on another issue: it is assumed that the jobs carried out through digital platforms – in the specific case of working activities performed for gig economy companies delivering goods (e.g. Deliveroo, Foodora, Just Eat, etc.) or providing services to individuals and households (e.g. Vicker, Task Rabbit, etc.) – fall under temporary agency work. This entails a double conceptual shift: on the one hand, de iure condendo, if the digital platform (Foodora, Deliveroo, etc.) became a temporary work agency, it would be subject to the provisions set out in the Italian Laws nos. 81/2015 and 276/2003 (with some necessary law amendments concerning sanctions and references to collective bargaining); on the other hand (and this is the most important aspect of the present analysis), such digital platform (Foodora, Deliveroo, etc.) would be part of the unified (or, better, unitary) network of active labour market policies, being enabled to take part in job placement activities and matchmaking (i.e. matching of labour demand and supply) in relation to both traditional jobs (as already known) and gig economy jobs.

Keywords: gig-economy, labor, temporary work agency, market design

JEL Classification: K31, J40, J50

Suggested Citation

Faioli, Michele, Gig Economy and Market Design. Why to Regulate the Market of Jobs Carried Out Through Digital Platforms (January 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Michele Faioli (Contact Author)

Università Cattolica ( email )

Largo A. Gemelli 1
Milan, 20123

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