The gig economy will not abolish working 9 to 5

ECOSCOPE

by Rory O’Farrell, Economics, OECD Economics Department
Today’s post is also being published by the OECD Insights Blog

gig-economy2There is little new about the ‘gig economy’. The word ‘gig’ originates from 1920s jazz musicians who played a small concert or ‘engagement’ at a venue. Dolly Parton may have sung about working 9 to 5, but her life was moving from one gig to another.  We have always had plumbers, electricians, and lawyers who do temporary work, and are not paid by a household when they are idle. However, do new apps such as Uber or Deliveroo mean the end of the 9 to 5 job, and do these platforms need to be regulated?

Similar to the introduction of the Yellow Pages phone directory, new smart phone apps lower the cost of collecting information and searching for a worker. Apps can show when people are available, their current location, and offer…

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