NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows

John Horton, William R. Kerr, Christopher Stanton


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book High-Skilled Migration to the United States and its Economic Consequences, Gordon H. Hanson, William R. Kerr, and Sarah Turner, editors
Conference held July 10-11, 2016
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

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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