NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows

John Horton, William R. Kerr, Christopher Stanton

NBER Working Paper No. 23398
Issued in May 2017
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23398

Forthcoming: Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows, John Horton, William R. Kerr, Christopher Stanton. in High-Skilled Migration to the United States and its Economic Consequences, Hanson, Kerr, and Turner. 2017

 
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