Who is AI Replacing? The Impact of Generative AI on Online Freelancing Platforms

25 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2023 Last revised: 21 Feb 2024

See all articles by Ozge Demirci

Ozge Demirci

Harvard Business School

Jonas Hannane

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Xinrong Zhu

Imperial College Business School

Date Written: October 15, 2023

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of Generative AI technology on the demand for online freelancers using a large dataset from a leading global freelancing platform. We identify the types of jobs that are more affected by Generative AI and quantify the magnitude of the heterogeneous impact. Our findings indicate a 21 percent decrease in the number of job posts for automation-prone jobs related to writing and coding compared to jobs requiring manual-intensive skills after the introduction of ChatGPT. We also find that the introduction of Image-generating AI technologies led to a significant 17 percent decrease in the number of job posts related to image creation. Furthermore, we use Google Trends to show that the more pronounced decline in the demand for freelancers within automation-prone jobs correlates with their higher public awareness of ChatGPT's substitutability.

Keywords: Generative AI, large language models, ChatGPT, online freelancing platforms

JEL Classification: O33, E24, J21, J24

Suggested Citation

Demirci, Ozge and Hannane, Jonas and Zhu, Xinrong, Who is AI Replacing? The Impact of Generative AI on Online Freelancing Platforms (October 15, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4602944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4602944

Ozge Demirci

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School
Cotting Hall 321
Boston, MA Boston 02135
United States

Jonas Hannane

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) ( email )

Straße des 17
Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Xinrong Zhu (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
07778963203 (Phone)

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