The Law-Technology Cycle and the Future of Work

29 Pages Posted: 22 May 2018

See all articles by Simon Deakin

Simon Deakin

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Christopher Markou

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR)

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

Features of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, such as platforms, AI and machine learning, pose challenges for the application of regulatory rules, in the area of labour law as elsewhere. However, today’s digital technologies have their origins in earlier phases of industrialisation, and do not, in themselves, mark a step change in the evolution of capitalism, which was, and is, characterised by successive waves of creative destruction. The law does not simply respond to technological change; it also facilitates and mediates it. Digitalisation, by permitting the appropriation of collective knowledge, has the capacity to undermine existing forms of regulation, while creating the space for new ones. It may erode the position of some professions while enabling others, complementary to new technologies, to emerge. It is unlikely to bring about the redundancy of forms of labour law regulation centred on the employment relationship. We appear to reaching a point in the law-technology cycle where push-back against regulatory arbitrage can be expected.

Keywords: gig economy, digitalisation, future of work, labour law, law and technology, Uber

JEL Classification: J41, J48, K31, L22, O33

Suggested Citation

Deakin, Simon F. and Markou, Christopher, The Law-Technology Cycle and the Future of Work (March 2018). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 32/2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183061 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3183061

Simon F. Deakin (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR) ( email )

Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
+ 44 1223 335243 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Christopher Markou

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.cam.ac.uk/people/academic/cp-markou/6574

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR) ( email )

Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

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