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

26 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2023

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 London

Date Written: October 15, 2023


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 focus on how the demand effect of the release of ChatGPT differs across various jobs that require different skills or software. Our findings indicate a 14% decrease following the ChatGPT introduction in the number of job posts in jobs associated with writing, statistical analysis, electronic engineering, accounting research, and web development when compared to jobs associated with data entry, video services, and audio services, which require more manual tasks. Furthermore, we utilize prior evidence on AI exposure to different occupations and Google Trends to demonstrate that the more pronounced decline in freelancer demand within those specific occupations is linked with their heightened exposure to AI technology, as well as higher general public awareness of ChatGPT's substitutability.

Keywords: Generative AI, large language models, ChatGPT, digital 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 ChatGPT 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

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) ( email )

Straße des 17
Juni 135
Berlin, 10623

Xinrong Zhu (Contact Author)

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Rd, London SW7
London SW7

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