Platform economy in Denmark – precarious employment?

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This paper takes a labour market perspective on the emerging concept of the 'sharing economy' or 'platform economy', which we use as a more appropriate term for the phenomenon. Platform economy is in the article understood as those business models that have emerged since the millennium, where digital platforms serve as the link between persons wanting to make use of certain activities, services etc. and those owning them and we only have an interest in the work-related platforms. That means platforms, where paid work is offered and demanded. International examples of this new phenomenon are for instance Uber, Mechanical Turk and and research already point to the fact, that some of the work carried out through the platforms is precarious, for instance because of low wages, variable earnings and poor conditions of employment (Dokko et al 2015; Kenny & Zysman 2015).The purpose of this paper is to examine the work-related activities in the Danish platform economy and discuss whether and to what extent these activities are to be considered precarious forms of employment. The paper begins with a discussion of the terms sharing economy and platform economy in order to reach an understanding and definition of the phenomenon to be investigated. Then the paper will identify and describe which platforms and which work-related activities there exist in the Danish platform economy and try to estimate their extent and prevalence. Finally we discuss if and to what extent this type of employment has a precarious character. The empirical material in the paper stems from a Nordic pilot project on the sharing economy in the Nordic countries (Dølvik & Jesnes fortcoming; Rasmussen & Madsen 2016).The paper concludes that the work-related activities in the Danish platform economy are somewhat limited. Nevertheless the labour offered through the platforms has a precarious character for instance in terms of lower wages and poorer rights and protection compared to the labour at the traditional, offline labour market. One important issue here is also the confusion as to whether the worker is to be considered a wage earner or a self-employed when performing work through the platforms.
Translated title of the contributionPlatformsøkonomi i Danmark - prekært arbejde?
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJun 2017
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
EventSASE 29th annual meeting What's Next? Disruptive/Collaborative Economy or Business as Usual? - Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
Duration: 29 Jun 20171 Jul 2017


ConferenceSASE 29th annual meeting What's Next? Disruptive/Collaborative Economy or Business as Usual?
LocationUniversité Claude Bernard

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