Gig-Labor: Trading Safety Nets for Steering Wheels

60 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 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 2019


This paper shows that the introduction of the "gig-economy" changes the way employees respond to job loss. Using a comprehensive set of Uber product launch dates and employee-level data on job separations, 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 is based on a triple difference-in-difference empirical model, comparing the difference in outcome variables 1) pre- and post-layoff, 2) before and after Uber enters a market, and 3) between workers with and without the ability to participate on the ride-sharing platform (car-owners inferred from auto credit histories). In support of our identification strategy, we find no apparent pre-existing difference in outcomes in the months leading up to Uber's entry into a market. Moreover, the effects are severely attenuated for workers with an auto lease, for whom the viability of participating on the ride-sharing platform is significantly reduced. Overall, our findings show that the introduction Uber had a profound effect on labor markets.

Keywords: credit delinquencies, gig-economy, Household Debt, labor markets, Unemployment insurance

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 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13885, Available at SSRN:

Vyacheslav Fos (Contact Author)

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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

MIT - Sloan ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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