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Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl
3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population
It’s not difficult to see why quality might suffer: ‘[T]o be hyper-affordable these are not necessarily on a par with established and leading competitors.’64 Prices, too, are often more expensive than consumers are led to believe: dynamic algorithms allow platforms to increase prices in line with demand and a wide range of other factors—up to many multiples of the underlying cost.65 As regards society at large, it is hard to deny the overall gains of increased economic activity—but how equally are these distributed? Commentators * * * 28 Work on Demand are concerned about the entrenchment of a two-tiered labour market. As The Economist has noted, gig-economy entrepreneurs: have created a plethora of on-demand companies that put time-starved urban professionals in timely contact with job-starved workers, creating a sometimes distasteful caricature of technology-driven social disparity in the process; an article about the on-demand economy by Kevin Roose in New York magazine began with the revelation that the housecleaner he hired through Homejoy lived in a homeless shelter.66 Other concerns extend to the future of a competitive market economy at large.
The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle
"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population
Across the Atlantic, Britain’s Conservative Government claimed its policies of introducing ‘flexibility’ through the removal of employment protection, the reduction of non-wage social charges like pensions and sick-pay and the encouragement of part-time work explained why the unemployment rate in the UK fell substantially while the rest of Europe suffered jobless rates that seemed condemned to stick in double digits. But critics and political opponents saw only the inequality and insecurity of a two-tier labour market, which might help explain the Labour opposition’s landslide victory in May 1997. There is clearly something in the charge of unfairness. Earnings inequality increased by far more in Britain and America between 1980 and the mid-1990s than in any other developed economies. In many countries, in fact, there was almost no increase in inequality. This tension — jobs or equality, unemployment or insecurity — is one of the key political dilemmas facing the weightless world.
The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam
Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game
Those in the age range 35–50 were much more likely to keep their jobs: less than half a million were shed at this age range, with the workforce remaining around 8 million. Incredibly, in the over-50 age range, there was a net gain over this period of more than 300,000 jobs. The conservative government that came to power in Spain in December 2011 wanted to improve the lot of the jobless youth by making it easier and cheaper to fire highly protected older workers. Spain’s ‘two-tier’ labour market meant it was much easier to lay off younger workers, while older workers stayed in their jobs. The new government’s reforms should in theory help the younger workers, but when I put this to a group of them, they didn’t buy it. Neither did Cándido Méndez, the leader of the UGT, one of Spain’s biggest unions. ‘If you add together the labour reforms and the cuts to public spending,’ he told me, ‘we’ll be caught in a vicious circle.
Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bonfire of the Vanities, charter city, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ghettoisation, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, megacity, new economy, obamacare, open borders, race to the bottom, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, two tier labour market, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor
Some Swedish firms are “de-engineering” their business models to become more labor-intensive. The Swedish government, meanwhile, has moved to slash benefits for immigrants, on the grounds that the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees has strained its ability to be as generous as it had been in the past.4 Swedes of a libertarian bent have welcomed the new openness to low-skill labor. The question is whether most Swedes are eager to embrace a two-tiered labor market, in which an underclass of low-skill immigrants does work that was previously done satisfactorily by a combination of better-paid workers and machines. The evidence suggests not: populists have gained support, and they have done so primarily by promising tighter immigration policies. While Sweden is trying to nudge its employers to adopt more labor-intensive business models, Singapore is doing the opposite.5 Like Sweden, Singapore is one of the world’s richest countries, and its citizens are also among the best educated in the world.
Give People Money by Annie Lowrey
"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator
As Matthews notes, the problem might be solved by “building a wall around the welfare state,” rather than around the country, as famously put by the late William Niskanen of the libertarian Cato Institute. That is already what the United States does, to a large extent: allowing in legal and undocumented immigrants, then barring them from accessing benefits. Still, a UBI might increase racial antipathy. It might increase anti-immigrant sentiment, and spur the adoption of anti-immigrant restrictions and policies. It might also foster the creation of a two-tier labor market, with businesses seeking out undocumented workers who would be far cheaper to hire than native-born citizens. Less migration would mean a more sclerotic economy and an older country. A UBI might foster abject racism. There are no easy answers, especially for progressives. * * * In a separate focus group for the Economic Security Project, Paul quizzed a group of Alaskan men about their understanding of the state’s economy and experiences with its cash-grant program.
Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman, Hella Winston
active measures, blue-collar work, business cycle, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, deindustrialization, desegregation, factory automation, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job-hopping, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, performance metric, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, two tier labour market, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor
The less credentialed could, no doubt, do the jobs since they are the people who used to have them. Some would argue that the well-educated workers will be more productive and hence employers are right to court them for jobs that used to require only a high school degree, especially if they can hire them for next to nothing. But a general deceleration of wages hurts everyone and big disparities between scarce fields and well-stocked ones create a two-tiered labor market in which graduates of elite institutions prosper and degree holders from more modest ones flounder. Although a weakened economy has highlighted this problem, oversupply was in evidence some time ago, well before the Great Recession took its toll. College grads have seen only a 1 percent increase in their average hourly wages over the last decade. They appear to be much better off largely because workers without degrees have experienced a precipitous decline, seeing average hourly wages drop 5 percent.
The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries by Kathi Weeks
basic income, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, deskilling, feminist movement, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, late capitalism, low-wage service sector, means of production, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, pink-collar, post-work, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Shoshana Zuboff, social intelligence, two tier labour market, union organizing, universal basic income, wages for housework, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Indeed, for the anxious Protestant of Weber’s account, the quality of work and quantity of wages, the nature of the concrete task and the amount of income it earned, were less relevant than the level of effort the worker applied. Today, in contrast, both the quality of the labor process and the quantity of its material rewards are relevant to the ability of the discourse to deliver on its new ideals of work. With so much at stake, weighed down with so many expectations, it is no wonder that the ethical discourse of work is becoming ever more abstracted from the realities of many jobs. Within the two-tiered labor market, we find new modes of “over-valorized work” at one end of the labor hierarchy and “devalorized work” at the other (Peterson 2003, 76). Making labor flexible results in an increase of part-time, temporary, casual, and precarious forms of work. At one end, as Stanley Aronowitz and William DiFazio note, “the quality and the quantity of paid labor no longer justify—if they ever did—the underlying claim derived from religious sources that has become the basis of contemporary social theory and social policy: the view that paid work should be the core of personal identity” (1994, 302).