In the last month, two new reports have come up looking at online work and online labor markets, with a focus on their potential for economic development.
- A report from the McKinsey Global Institute, “Connecting talent with opportunity in the digital age” The McKinsey report covers a lot of the economic rationale for online work and digitization a bit more broadly.
- A report from the World Bank “Jobs without Borders” (pdf) which focuses more on what these markets could do for workers in less developed countries. It brings together quite a bit of disparate data on the size on online marketplaces, worker composition and so on.
The McKinsey report relies on some of the work that went into my NBER working paper w/ Ajay Agrawal, Liz Lyons and Nico Lacetera on “Digitization and the Contract Labor Market” which in turn leans heavily on data from oDesk (now Upwork). This paper—along with all the others from the conference—are now available as a book from the University of Chicago Press.