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Seminar series

Towards a theory of mirror-image specialisation in online labour markets

How does the skill specificity of workers affect their performance?

Add to calendar 2023-10-09 17:00 2023-10-09 18:30 Europe/Rome Towards a theory of mirror-image specialisation in online labour markets Cappella Villa Schifanoia - Chapel YYYY-MM-DD


09 October 2023

17:00 - 18:30 CEST



Villa Schifanoia - Chapel

Join Professor Andrea M. Herrmann as she presents work co-authored with Jaap van Slageren at the first session of the Political Economy Working Group.

The emergence of the gig economy may substantially change skill acquisition and specificity in online labour markets, because gig workers do not need formal educational credentials to offer their services. Instead, skills are detached from occupations, and platforms provide alternative ways to signal competences. To shed light on the applicability of existing theories to explain the skill profiles of gig workers, Professor Andrea M. Hermann will examine what predicts the skills hired in the online gig economy.

The analyses of 2,336 gig worker profiles shows that gig workers with a vocational degree and longer online work experience are hired for more specific skills. However, national labour market and educational institutions affect the gig workers’ skill specificity in the opposite direction than on traditional labour markets. The findings suggest that online gig platforms allow workers to overcome restrictions imposed by national education and labour market institutions as they are hired for those skills in the online gig economy that are institutionally less facilitated in their home labour markets.

Andrea M. Herrmann is Professor of Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Radboud University (Nijmegen). She obtained her PhD from the European University Institute (Florence), and has held positions at the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung (Cologne), Utrecht University, and Columbia University (New York).

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