Understanding Trends in Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States

29 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2019 Last revised: 12 Jan 2019

See all articles by Lawrence F. Katz

Lawrence F. Katz

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

This paper describes and tries to reconcile trends in alternative work arrangements in the United States using data from the Contingent Worker Survey supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 1995 to 2017, the 2015 RAND-Princeton Contingent Work Survey (CWS), and administrative tax data from the Internal Revenue Service for 2000 to 2016. We conclude that there likely has been a modest upward trend in the share of the U.S. workforce in alternative work arrangements during the 2000s based on the cyclically-adjusted comparisons of the CPS CWS’s, measures using self-respondents in the CPS CWS, and measures of self-employment and 1099 workers from administrative tax data. We also present evidence from Amazon Mechanical Turk that suggests that the basic monthly CPS question on multiple job holding misses many instances of multiple job holding

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Suggested Citation

Katz, Lawrence F. and Krueger, Alan B., Understanding Trends in Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States (January 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25425. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3311399

Lawrence F. Katz (Contact Author)

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Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

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