Unknowns of the gig-economy: Seeking multidisciplinary research into the rapidly evolving gig-economy

Brad Greenwood, Gordon Burtch, Seth Carnahan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Gig-economy platforms, defined as digital, service based, on-demand platforms that enable flexible work arrangements are a unique recent addition to the broader category of peer-to-peer platform business models. The effect of gig-economy participation on long-term career outcomes is particularly unclear. A defining attribute of gig-economy jobs is that opportunities for advancement within the firm are limited. These jobs might therefore stagnate workers' career progressions, particularly if the gigeconomy job requires the worker to make capital investments, such as the purchase of an automobile, which may require debt-based financing. At the same time, job flexibility may allow the worker to pursue other opportunities outside the gig-economy, such as education, which would allow her to improve career outcomes over the long term. It is not yet clear how the gig-economy influences social welfare, or how much total surplus is generated by these platforms. Understanding the implications of this new form of organizing is critical for scholars from many academic traditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-29
Number of pages3
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


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