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Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows

John Horton, William R. Kerr, Christopher Stanton

Chapter in NBER book High-Skilled Migration to the United States and its Economic Consequences (2018), Gordon H. Hanson, William R. Kerr, and Sarah Turner, editors (p. 71 - 108)
Conference held July 10-11, 2016
Published in May 2018 by University of Chicago Press
© 2018 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

Digital labor markets are rapidly expanding and connecting companies and contractors on a global basis. We review the environment in which these markets take root, the micro- and macro-level studies of their operations, their ongoing evolution and recent trends, and perspectives for undertaking research with micro-data from these labor platforms. We undertake new empirical analyses of Upwork data regarding 1) the alignment of micro- and macro-level approaches to disproportionate ethnic-connected exchanges on digital platforms, 2) gravity model analyses of global outsourcing contract flows and their determinants for digital labor markets, and 3) quantification of own- and cross-country elasticities for contract work by wage rate. Digital labor markets are an exciting frontier for global talent flows and growing rapidly in importance.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w23398, Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows, John Horton, William R. Kerr, Christopher Stanton
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