Management Research Seminar Series, conducted by the Department of Economics and Business, aims to bring accomplished researchers in the Management field to share their current research projects to facilitate an academic discussion, enhance knowledge, and discover potential connections. The series is designed for the academic audience, i.e., the Faculty and MA, PhD students; however, anyone interested in the series is welcome to attend.
On February 15, Dr. Andrea Herrmann from Radboud University will join the Management Research Seminar Series. The event will be on Zoom. For details, please email email@example.com or Yurteri_Sidar@phd.ceu.edu.
Title: Towards A Theory of Mirror-Image Specialization: Is skill specificity in the online gig economy the same as in traditional labour markets?
Abstract: Both economists and sociologists have examined what explains workers’ level of skill specificity since it is influential on the economic performance of individuals and countries alike. However, the emergence of the online gig economy changes skill acquisition and specificity altogether, as workers don’t need formal credentials (like an educational degree) to offer their labour, skills are “unbundled” away from occupations, and the platforms provide alternative ways to signal competences, via for example the rating system. Therefore, we examine whether individual career trajectories and national institutions predict the skills offered in the online gig economy. Based on multilevel ordinal logistic regression models analysing 2,613 online worker profiles, we show that workers with a vocational educational degree and more experience on the online gig platform offer more specific skills. However, neither offline job tenure, national socioeconomic institutions, nor educational systems affect gig workers’ skill specificity. Our findings suggest that online gig platforms allow workers to overcome restrictions imposed by national education and labour market institutions as they can offer those skills in the online gig economy that are institutionally less facilitated and, consequently, less valued in traditional labour markets. Furthermore, platform experience creates a tendency to specialise in specific skills, which might pose a risk in a labour market with high demand volatility.