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Education, inequality and use of digital collaborative platforms: The European case


  • Jesús M Artero
  • Cristina Borra
  • Rosario Gómez-Alvarez


This study examines the causal relationship between education and the use of digital collaborative platforms as a first step in exploring the potential impact of the new digital labour markets on inequality. From the viewpoint of transaction costs theory, the less educated could benefit significantly from the digital collaborative economy due to the reduction in information costs made possible by this new form of exchange. Conversely, a positive relationship between educational level and platform use may be expected following neoclassical and institutionalist economic theories. Using microdata from the 2016 Eurobarometer survey, together with an instrumental variables strategy and conventional ordinary least squares models, hypothesis testing reveals that education has a clear positive effect on digital collaborative platform use. As a result, the less educated are less likely to access the job opportunities offered by digital labour markets. Understanding the relationship between education and access to digital collaborative platforms and impacts on socio-economic inequality is crucial for designing future public policies that promote social justice and well-being in a disrupted landscape. JEL Codes: I24, J47, O34

Suggested Citation

  • Jesús M Artero & Cristina Borra & Rosario Gómez-Alvarez, 2020. "Education, inequality and use of digital collaborative platforms: The European case," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 31(3), pages 364-382, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecolab:v:31:y:2020:i:3:p:364-382
    DOI: 10.1177/1035304620943109

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    More about this item


    4IR; digital collaborative platforms; education; Fourth Industrial Revolution; inequality; non-standard employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J47 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Coercive Labor Markets
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital


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