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Skill-biased technical change again? Estimating the effect of TaskRabbit on local employment in the housekeeping industry

Guo, Xue, Cheng, Aaron Cheng and Pavlou, Paul A. (2019) Skill-biased technical change again? Estimating the effect of TaskRabbit on local employment in the housekeeping industry. In: 2019 International Conference on Information Systems: ICIS 2019. International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) proceedings (2019). AIS, DEU. ISBN 9780996683197

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Abstract

The rise of gig platforms brings new opportunities and challenges to local labor markets: they may complement offline workers by facilitating service matching and creating jobs for them, or they may substitute offline workers by intensifying the competition among them. Drawing on Skill-Biased Technical Change and digital platforms theory, we study the impacts of gig platforms on local employment in the housekeeping industry. Exploiting the staggered expansion pattern of TaskRabbit (a gig platform that matches freelance labor to local demand for everyday tasks) into US counties at different times, we identify its impact on the housekeeping industry. Our difference-in-differences estimate shows a disproportionate decrease in full-time housekeeping employment in TaskRabbit-operated areas. The decline is mainly driven by cognitive (middle-skilled) workers (i.e., managers) instead of manual (low-skilled) workers (i.e., janitors). Additional evidence, however, implies that gig platforms may not crowd out workers but rather they incubate local entrepreneurship through additional self-employment. Implications for platform design, policy, and research are discussed.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL: https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2019/
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 11:57
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2020 23:19
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102955

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