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Quantity and quality of work in the platform economy


  • Bogliacino, Francesco
  • Codagnone, Cristiano
  • Cirillo, Valeria
  • Guarascio, Dario


This critical and scoping review essay analyses digital labour markets where labour-intensive services are traded by matching requesters (employers and/or consumers) and providers (workers). It first discusses to what extent labour platform can be treated as two-sided or multi-sided markets, and the implications of these classifications. It then moves to address the legal and regulatory issues implied by these technologies. From a theoretical point of view, using a framework where innovation is not neutral in the labour market, platforms have implications for the quantity of jobs, for the kind of skills and tasks which are exchanged, and in terms of bargaining power of the contracting parties. It includes a critical evaluation of the empirical evidence from a variety of sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Bogliacino, Francesco & Codagnone, Cristiano & Cirillo, Valeria & Guarascio, Dario, 2019. "Quantity and quality of work in the platform economy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 420, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:420

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lapo Filistrucchi & Damien Geradin & Eric van Damme & Pauline Affeldt, 2014. "Market Definition In Two-Sided Markets: Theory And Practice," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 293-339.
    2. Berg, Janine., 2016. "Income security in the on-demand economy : findings and policy lessons from a survey of crowdworkers," ILO Working Papers 994906483402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-143, Summer.
    4. Jan Drahokoupil & Agnieszka Piasna, 2017. "Work in the Platform Economy: Beyond Lower Transaction Costs," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 52(6), pages 335-340, November.
    5. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 990-1029, June.
    6. Francesco Bogliacino & Marco Vivarelli, 2012. "The Job Creation Effect Of R&D Expenditures," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 96-113, June.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    8. Eric Luis Uhlmann & Raphael Silberzahn, 2014. "Conformity under uncertainty: Reliance on gender stereotypes in online hiring decisions," Post-Print hal-00976408, HAL.
    9. Valerio De Stefano & Antonio Aloisi, 2018. "European legal framework for "digital labour platforms"," JRC Working Papers JRC112243, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    10. David Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2007. "The Industrial Organization of Markets with Two-Sided Platforms," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 3.
    11. Collier, Ruth B & Dubal, V.B. & Carter, Christopher, 2017. "Labor Platforms and Gig Work: The Failure to Regulate," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4c8862zj, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Valeria Cirillo & Dario Guarascio & Zachary Parolin, 2021. "Platform Work and Economic Insecurity: Evidence from Italian Survey Data," LEM Papers Series 2021/13, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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    More about this item


    platforms; employment; quality of work; regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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