Online Labour Markets

Wie Software nationales Arbeitsrecht unterläuft und transnationale Arbeitsmärkte schafft, war Thema des englischen Gastvortrags von Dr Vili Lehdonvirta, Research Fellow und DPhil Programme Director am Oxford Internet Institute, am 22. Juni 2015, 18-19.30 Uhr, im Hans-Bredow-Institut.

Online Labour Markets: How Code-Based Institutions Are Supplanting National Regulations and Enabling Transnational Labour Trade

Even as national labour markets stagnate, online labour markets such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Mechanical Turk are growing rapidly. They present in effect an alternative institutional framework for labour markets that exists outside the national frameworks of employment law and collective agreements. In other words, labour policy for a growing number of German workers is being crafted in programmers' cubicles and online discussion forums instead of legislative forums. I will discuss why these alternative labour markets are growing, what their salient institutional features are, what impacts they have on workers and employers globally, and how their rules are shaped. These issues form the backdrop of my new ERC Starting Grant funded research project "iLabour - The Construction of Labour Markets, Institutions, and Movements on the Internet".

Dr Vili Lehdonvirta is a Research Fellow and DPhil Programme Director at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. His research deals with the design and socioeconomic implications of digital marketplaces and platforms, using conventional social research methods and novel data science approaches. He has a PhD in Economic Sociology from Turku School of Economics (2009) and an MSc in Information Networks from Helsinki University of Technology (2005). Previously he worked at London School of Economics, University of Tokyo, and Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. Before his academic career, he worked as a game programmer. He has advised companies, startups, and policy makers in the United States, Europe, and Japan, including Rovio, Mojang, and the World Bank. His book Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis (with Edward Castronova) is published by MIT Press.