Mapping Inequalities Across the On-Demand Economy

Narratives around the on-demand economy have often elided key differences in how the same policies, technologies, and practices can have contrasting effects on different workers’ experiences on the ground, both within and across sectors. As on-demand business models bring practices like algorithmic management and on-demand scheduling into new areas of work, these same practices may both empower and adversely affect workers in unanticipated ways.

Through multi-sited ethnographic research, this project examines the experiences of workers on labor platforms and serves to build a foundation for engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders in future research and to project viable pathways of policy intervention.

The fieldwork for this project targets what is at stake for workers across two segments of the on-demand economy: care and cleaning industry and ridehailing services, such as Uber and Lyft.

This project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K Kellogg Foundation.

All Work

  • blog post
    In this reading list, Data & Society Researcher Alexandra Mateescu and Postdoctoral Scholar Julia Ticona provide a pathway for deeper investigations into themes such as gender inequality and algorithmic visibility in the gi... Read on Points
    June 2018
  • blog post
    Data & Society Researcher Alexandra Mateescu maps out the inequalities and power dynamics  within the gig economy. "As on-demand companies like Handy and online marketplaces like enter the space of domestic work, ... Read on Points
    July 2017
  • blog post
    D&S post-doctoral scholar Julia Ticona responds to “Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing” from Pew Research Center. "Contingent work has always been prevalent in communities where workers have been historically excl... Read on Points
    November 2016
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