Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The impact of the collaborative economy on the labour market

The impact of the collaborative economy on the labour market
Published on: 16/10/2017
This paper analyses the direct and indirect impact of the collaborative economy on the labour market.

The basis for this paper includes 2 case studies on 2 online collaborative platforms:

  • CoContest, a crowdsourcing platform for design work (virtual and high-skilled)
  • ListMinut, which matches supply and demand for local and low-skill personal services (e.g. gardening, home repair, cleaning, etc.).

The analysis also refers to recent activities from workers on other platforms, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, Crowdflower, Uber and UpWork.

The paper addresses the following 4 main questions:

  • What types of work are being created by online collaborative platforms?
  • How does the online labour market compare with the offline labour market?
  • To what extent do online collaborative platforms affect the traditional labour market?
  • What are the policy implications of the proliferation of online collaborative platforms?

The first section attempts to characterise the types of work being created in the online collaborative economy. In the second section the working conditions in the collaborative or online labour market are compared to those in the more traditional labour market. In the third section the interaction between the online and offline labour market is discussed and the final section explores the policy implications.

This paper is part of a series of 'impulse papers' that were launched to support the European Commission's European Agenda for the collaborative economy.