Digital Seminar Series

Who Benefits from Online Gig Economy Platforms?


  • Apr. 26, 2023
  • 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
  • Hybrid Event
  • Catherine Thomas from London School of Economics
Catherine Thomas headshot

In this talk, Catherine Thomas at the London School of Economics will discuss her study on the magnitude and distribution of surplus in an online labor market for the knowledge worker gig economy. She estimates that workers capture one third of the $5.50 in total surplus per hour worked. In counterfactual experiments, traditional employment regulation lowers job posting and hiring rates, reducing surplus for buyers and workers. To understand whether online hiring reduces offline labor demand, she studied how online buyers respond to increases in local offline minimum wages. She found no change in online demand, suggesting online labor markets facilitate new trade in tasks without drawing jobs from traditional employment.

This talk is part of the Digital Seminar, a D^3 Assembly series that is open to faculty, doctoral students, and academic researchers.

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    The DI is now part of the Digital, Data, and Design (D^3) Institute at Harvard. Read more about this change..