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Considering the Taylor Review: Ways Forward for the Gig Economy

Considering the Taylor Review: Ways Forward for the Gig Economy

The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices in the UK was published last week. The review assesses changes in labour markets and employment practices, and proposes policy solutions. One of the big themes in the report is the rise of platform-mediated gig work. I have been doing research on platform-mediated work for a few years […]

Can universal basic income counter the ill-effects of the gig economy?

shutterstock.com Platforms like eBay, Uber, Airbnb, and Freelancer are thriving, growing the digital economy and disrupting existing business. The question is how to ensure that the transformations they entail have a positive impact on society. Here, universal basic income may have a role to play. Few social policy ideas are as hot today as universal […]

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Could data pay for global development? Introducing data financing for global good

“If data is the new oil, then why aren’t we taxing it like we tax oil?” That was the essence of the provocative brief that set in motion our recent 6-month research project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The results are detailed in the new report: Data Financing for Global Good: A Feasibility Study. The parallels […]

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The blockchain paradox: Why distributed ledger technologies may do little to transform the economy

Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, is widely expected to find applications far beyond digital payments. It is celebrated as a “paradigm shift in the very idea of economic organization”. But the OII’s Professor Vili Lehdonvirta contends that such revolutionary potentials may be undermined by a fundamental paradox that has to do with the governance of […]

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The limits of uberization: How far can platforms go?

Platforms that enable users to come together and  buy/sell services with confidence, such as Uber, have become remarkably popular, with the companies often transforming the industries they enter. In this blog post the OII’s Vili Lehdonvirta analyses why the domestic cleaning platform Homejoy failed to achieve such success. He argues that when buyer and sellers enter into repeated transactions they can […]

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Should we love Uber and Airbnb or protest against them?

Some theorists suggest that such platforms are making our world more efficient by natural selection. The reality is a little more complicated. Reposted from The Conversation.   An angry crowd has attacked Uber cars with bars and stones outside Mexico City airport, the latest in a series of worldwide protests against the ride-hailing app. More than 1,000 […]

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Uber and Airbnb make the rules now — but to whose benefit?

Ride-hailing app Uber is close to replacing government-licensed taxis in some cities, while Airbnb’s accommodation rental platform has become a serious competitor to government-regulated hotel markets. Many other apps and platforms are trying to do the same in other sectors of the economy. In my previous post, I argued that platforms can be viewed in […]

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Why are citizens migrating to Uber and Airbnb, and what should governments do about it?

Cars were smashed and tires burned in France last month in protests against the ride hailing app Uber. Less violent protests have also been staged against Airbnb, a platform for renting short-term accommodation. Despite the protests, neither platform shows any signs of faltering. Uber says it has a million users in France, and is available […]

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Will digital innovation disintermediate banking — and can regulatory frameworks keep up?

Many of Europe’s economies are hampered by a waning number of innovations, partially attributable to the European financial system’s aversion to funding innovative enterprises and initiatives. Pēteris Zilgalvis discusses his recent Policy & Internet article The Need for an Innovation Principle in Regulatory Impact Assessment: The Case of Finance and Innovation in Europe (2014 6,4), which argues for the adoption of an “innovation principle” in regulatory impact assessment that prioritizes regulatory approaches that serve to promote innovation.

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Gender gaps in virtual economies: are there virtual ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ collar occupations?

Determinants of economic wellbeing have long been investigated from many angles in the social sciences: a key finding that is consistent across economies and time periods is that women tend to earn less income and hold less wealth than men. But what about in online (virtual) economies? OII Research Fellow Vili Lehdonvirta discusses how by looking at player gender and character gender separately, we can distinguish between “being” female and “appearing to be” female, and see how they are related to economic outcomes. His article (with R.A.Ratan, T.L.Kennedy, and D.Williams) Pink and Blue Pixel$: Gender and Economic Disparity in Two Massive Online Games, is published in The Information Society 30 (4) 243-255.

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