Digitization and the Contract Labor Market: A Research Agenda
Online contract labor globalizes traditionally local labor markets, with platforms that enable employers, most of whom are in high-income countries, to more easily outsource tasks to contractors, primarily located in low-income countries. This market is growing rapidly; we provide descriptive statistics from one of the leading platforms where the number of hours worked increased 55% from 2011 to 2012, with the 2012 total wage bill just over $360 million. We outline three lines of inquiry in this market setting that are central to the broader digitization research agenda: 1) How will the digitization of this market influence the distribution of economic activity (geographic distribution of work, income distribution, distribution of work across firm boundaries)?; 2) What is the magnitude and nature of information frictions in these digital market settings as reflected by user responses to market design features (allocation of visibility, investments in human capital acquisition, machine-aided recommendations)?; 3) How will the digitization of this market affect social welfare (increased efficiency in matching, production?)? We draw upon economic theory as well as evidence from empirical research on online contract labor markets and other related settings to motivate and contextualize this research agenda.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2013|
|Publication status:||published as Digitization and the Contract Labor Market: A Research Agenda , Ajay Agrawal, John Horton, Nicola Lacetera, Elizabeth Lyons. in Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy , Goldfarb, Greenstein, and Tucker. 2015|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Peter Coles & John Cawley & Phillip B. Levine & Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth & John J. Siegfried, 2010.
"The Job Market for New Economists: A Market Design Perspective,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 187-206, Fall.
- Coles, Peter Andrew & Levine, Phillip B. & Roth, Alvin E. & Cawley, John & Niederle, Muriel & Siegfried, John J., 2010. "The Job Market for New Economists: A Market Design Perspective," Scholarly Articles 5343168, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- David H. Autor, 2001.
"Wiring the Labor Market,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 25-40, Winter.
- Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-143, Summer.
- repec:ehl:lserod:59069 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 2004.
"The Muddles over Outsourcing,"
- Roy Mill, 2011. "Hiring and Learning in Online Global Labor Markets," Working Papers 11-17, NET Institute, revised Oct 2011.
- Thomas Blake & Chris Nosko & Steven Tadelis, 2015.
"Consumer Heterogeneity and Paid Search Effectiveness: A Large‐Scale Field Experiment,"
Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 155-174, 01.
- Tom Blake & Chris Nosko & Steven Tadelis, 2014. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Paid Search Effectiveness: A Large Scale Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 20171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2013.
"Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment,"
NBER Working Papers
18871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2015. "Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 165-218.
- Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2013. "Does working from home work? Evidence from a Chinese experiment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51525, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2013. "Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment," CEP Discussion Papers dp1194, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Stéphanie Peltier & François Moreau, 2012. "Internet and the ‘Long Tail versus superstar effect’ debate: evidence from the French book market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(8), pages 711-715, May.
- Laura Abramovsky & Rachel Griffith, 2006.
"Outsourcing and Offshoring of Business Services: How Important is ICT?,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 594-601, 04-05.
- Laura Abramovsky & Rachel Griffith, 2005. "Outsourcing and offshoring of business services: how important is ICT?," IFS Working Papers W05/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Ejaz Ghani & William R. Kerr & Christopher Stanton, 2014.
"Diasporas and Outsourcing: Evidence from oDesk and India,"
INFORMS, vol. 60(7), pages 1677-1697, July.
- Ejaz Ghani & William R. Kerr & Christopher T. Stanton, 2012. "Diasporas and Outsourcing: Evidence from oDesk and India," NBER Working Papers 18474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & Stanton, Christopher, 2013. "Diasporas and outsourcing : evidence from oDesk and India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6403, The World Bank.
- George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
- Randall Lewis & Justin M. Rao & David H. Reiley, 2013.
"Measuring the Effects of Advertising: The Digital Frontier,"
NBER Working Papers
19520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Randall Lewis & Justin M. Rao & David H. Reiley, 2015. "Measuring the Effects of Advertising: The Digital Frontier," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy, pages 191-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hyunyoung Choi & Hal Varian, 2012. "Predicting the Present with Google Trends," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(s1), pages 2-9, 06.
- Heski Bar‐Isaac & Guillermo Caruana & Vicente Cuñat, 2012. "Information Gathering Externalities for a Multi‐Attribute Good," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 162-185, 03.
- Ajay K. Agrawal & Nicola Lacetera & Elizabeth Lyons, 2013. "Does Information Help or Hinder Job Applicants from Less Developed Countries in Online Markets?," NBER Working Papers 18720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wheeler, Christopher H, 2001. "Search, Sorting, and Urban Agglomeration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 879-899, October.
- Tucker, Catherine & Zhang, Juanjuan, 2007. "Long Tail or Steep Tail? A Field Investigation into How Online Popularity Information Affects the Distribution of Customer Choices," Working papers 39811, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology and Firm Boundaries: Evidence from Panel Data," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 134-149, June.
- Wilde, Louis L, 1981. "Information Costs, Duration of Search, and Turnover: Theory and Applications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1122-1141, December.
- Dutcher, E. Glenn & Saral, Krista Jabs, 2012. "Does Team Telecommuting Affect Productivity? An Experiment," MPRA Paper 41594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006.
"Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring,"
NBER Working Papers
12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19525. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.