NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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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 Program, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program

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

Published: 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. 2018

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