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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Understanding Trends in Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States

Lawrence F. Katz, Alan B. Krueger

NBER Working Paper No. 25425
Issued in January 2019, Revised in January 2019
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

This paper describes and tries to reconcile trends in alternative work arrangements in the United States using data from the Contingent Worker Survey supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 1995 to 2017, the 2015 RAND-Princeton Contingent Work Survey (CWS), and administrative tax data from the Internal Revenue Service for 2000 to 2016. We conclude that there likely has been a modest upward trend in the share of the U.S. workforce in alternative work arrangements during the 2000s based on the cyclically-adjusted comparisons of the CPS CWS’s, measures using self-respondents in the CPS CWS, and measures of self-employment and 1099 workers from administrative tax data. We also present evidence from Amazon Mechanical Turk that suggests that the basic monthly CPS question on multiple job holding misses many instances of multiple job holding

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25425

Published: Katz, Lawrence F., Krueger Alan B. 2019. "Understanding Trends in Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States" RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences December 2019, 5 (5) 132-146; DOI: https://doi.org/10.7758/RSF.2019.5.5.07

 
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