NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Jeff Jacobs

Columbia University
420 W 118th street
New York, NY 10027

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Columbia University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Monopsony in Online Labor Markets
with Arindrajit Dube, Suresh Naidu, Siddharth Suri: w24416
On-demand labor platforms make up a large part of the “gig economy.” We quantify the extent of monopsony power in one of the largest on-demand labor platforms, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), by measuring the elasticity of labor supply facing the requester (employer) using both observational and experimental variation in wages. We isolate plausibly exogenous variation in rewards using a double-machine-learning estimator applied to a large dataset of scraped MTurk tasks. We also re-analyze data from 5 MTurk experiments that randomized payments to obtain corresponding experimental estimates. Both approaches yield uniformly low labor supply elasticities, around 0.1, with little heterogeneity.
 
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