Gig-Labor: Trading Safety Nets for Steering Wheels

68 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2019 Last revised: 26 Dec 2019

See all articles by Vyacheslav Fos

Vyacheslav Fos

Boston College - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Naser Hamdi

Equifax, Inc.

Ankit Kalda

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance

Jordan Nickerson

MIT - Sloan

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 3, 2019

Abstract

This paper shows that the introduction of the "gig-economy" changes the way employees respond to job loss. Using administrative data on unemployment insurance (UI) claims matched with the credit profiles of individuals in the U.S., we show that laid-off employees with access to Uber are less likely to apply for UI benefits, rely less on household debt, and experience fewer delinquencies. Our empirical strategy exploits both the staggered entry of Uber across cities and the differential benefit of Uber's entry across workers based on a proxy for car ownership. Effects are considerably attenuated for car-owners with an auto lease, for whom typical millage caps reduce the viability of participating on the ride-sharing platform, suggesting the results are not driven by time-varying differences in car-owners and non-owners. Overall, our findings show that the introduction of Uber had a profound effect on labor markets.

Keywords: gig-economy, labor markets, unemployment insurance, household debt, credit delinquencies

JEL Classification: D10, E24, H53, J23, J65

Suggested Citation

Fos, Vyacheslav and Hamdi, Naser and Kalda, Ankit and Nickerson, Jordan, Gig-Labor: Trading Safety Nets for Steering Wheels (July 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3414041 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3414041

Vyacheslav Fos

Boston College - Department of Finance ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3808
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Naser Hamdi

Equifax, Inc. ( email )

Atlanta, GA
United States

Ankit Kalda

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance ( email )

1309 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Jordan Nickerson (Contact Author)

MIT - Sloan ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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