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An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber's Driver-Partners in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan V. Hall

    (Uber Technologies)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper provides the first comprehensive analysis of Uber's driver-partners, based on both survey data and anonymized, aggregated administrative data. Uber has grown at an exponential rate over the last few years, and drivers who partner with Uber appear to be attracted to the platform in large part because of the flexibility it offers, the level of compensation, and the fact that earnings per hour do not vary much with hours worked, which facilitates part-time and variable hours. Uber's driver-partners are more similar in terms of their age and education to the general workforce than to taxi drivers and chauffeurs. Uber may serve as a bridge for many seeking other employment opportunities, and it may attract well-qualified individuals because, with Uber's star rating system, driver-partners' reputations are explicitly shared with potential customers. Most of Uber's driver-partners had full- or part-time employment prior to joining Uber, and many continued in those positions after starting to drive with the Uber platform, which makes the flexibility to set their own hours all the more valuable. Uber's driver-partners also often cited the desire to smooth fluctuations in their income as a reason for partnering with Uber.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan V. Hall & Alan B. Krueger, 2015. "An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber's Driver-Partners in the United States," Working Papers 587, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:587
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Horton, 2018. "Buyer Uncertainty about Seller Capacity: Causes, Consequences, and a Partial Solution," CESifo Working Paper Series 6985, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Horton, John J. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2016. "Owning, Using and Renting: Some Simple Economics of the "Sharing Economy"," Working Paper Series 16-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Sutirtha Bagchi, 2017. "A Tale of Two Cities: An Examination of Medallion Prices in New York and Chicago," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 33, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    4. repec:oup:oxford:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:541-571. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Scott Duke Kominers & Alexander Teytelboym & Vincent P Crawford, 2017. "An invitation to market design," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 541-571.
    6. repec:eee:transb:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:559-578 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Brodeur, Abel & Nield, Kerry, 2018. "An empirical analysis of taxi, Lyft and Uber rides: Evidence from weather shocks in NYC," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 1-16.
    8. Anuj Kapoor & Catherine Tucker, 2017. "How do Platform Participants respond to an Unfair Rating? An Analysis of a Ride-Sharing Platform Using a Quasi-Experiment," Working Papers 17-19, NET Institute.
    9. Cristiano Codagnone & Federico Biagi & Fabienne Abadie, 2016. "The Passions and the Interests: Unpacking the ‘Sharing Economy’," JRC Working Papers JRC101279, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    10. repec:eee:transe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:18-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:jotrge:v:56:y:2016:i:c:p:36-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:ksa:szemle:1778 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. De Groen, Willem Pieter & Maselli, Ilaria & Fabo, Brian, 2016. "The Digital Market for Local Services: A one-night stand for workers? An example from the on-demand economy," CEPS Papers 11438, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    14. Michael Luca, 2016. "Designing Online Marketplaces: Trust and Reputation Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 22616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Maier, Michael F. & Viete, Steffen & Ody, Margard, 2017. "Plattformbasierte Erwerbsarbeit: Stand der empirischen Forschung," IZA Research Reports 81, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. repec:eee:jotrge:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:35-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Michael Luca, 2017. "Designing Online Marketplaces: Trust and Reputation Mechanisms," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 77-93.
    18. Peitz, Martin & Schwalbe, Ulrich, 2016. "Zwischen Sozialromantik und Neoliberalismus: Zur Ökonomie der Sharing-Economy," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-033, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    19. Yang Pan & LiangFei Qiu, 2018. "Is Uber Helping or Hurting Mass Transit? An Empirical Investigation," Working Papers 18-11, NET Institute.
    20. Schwalbe Ulrich & Peitz Martin, 2016. "Kollaboratives Wirtschaften oder Turbokapitalismus?: Zur Ökonomie der Sharing economy," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 232-252, September.
    21. Cristiano Codagnone & Fabienne Abadie & Federico Biagi, 2016. "The Future of Work in the ‘Sharing Economy’. Market Efficiency and Equitable Opportunities or Unfair Precarisation?," JRC Working Papers JRC101280, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    22. repec:eee:transa:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:118-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Michael Luca, 2016. "Designing Online Marketplaces: Trust and Reputation Mechanisms," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-017, Harvard Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uber;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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