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The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015

Author

Listed:
  • Lawrence F. Katz

    (Harvard University and NBER)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Abstract

To monitor trends in alternative work arrangements, we conducted a version of the Contingent Worker Survey as part of the RAND American Life Panel in late 2015. The findings point to a significant rise in the incidence of alternative work arrangements in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015. The percentage of workers engaged in alternative work arrangements - defined as temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract workers, and independent contractors or freelancers - rose from 10.7 percent in February 2005 to 15.8 percent in late 2015. The percentage of workers hired out through contract companies showed the largest rise, increasing from 1.4 percent in 2005 to 3.1 percent in 2015. Workers who provide services through online intermediaries, such as Uber or Task Rabbit, accounted for 0.5 percent of all workers in 2015. About twice as many workers selling goods or services directly to customers reported finding customers through offline intermediaries than through online intermediaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 2016. "The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015," Working Papers 603, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:603
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:3:p:1165-1217. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:12:p:3722-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Deborah Goldschmidt & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2017. "The Rise of Domestic Outsourcing and the Evolution of the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1165-1217.
    4. Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan, 2010. "Does Outsourcing Reduce Wages in the Low-Wage Service Occupations? Evidence from Janitors and Guards," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 287-306, January.
    5. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
    6. Alexandre Mas & Amanda Pallais, 2017. "Valuing Alternative Work Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3722-3759, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J29 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Other

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