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Technology and the Future of Work

The Impact on Labour Markets and Welfare States

Bent Greve

Changes in the labour market demand new solutions to mitigate the potentially dramatic wiping away of jobs, and this important book offers both analysis and suggestions for change. Bent Greve provides a systematic and vigorous assessment of the impact of new technology on the labour market and welfare states, including comprehensive analysis of the sharing and platform economies, new types of inequality and trends of changes in the labour market.
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Chapter 4: The sharing/platform economy

The Impact on Labour Markets and Welfare States

Bent Greve

Extract

The sharing economy or the collaborative economy – there are many names for a new division of production between work and/or capital goods. Part of it is just the use of IT as a means of developing new market platforms to sell goods and especially services. Another is a way of sharing in order to consume less and be less in need of producing and buying new goods and services. If consumption is reduced this will influence the number of jobs. Sharing of jobs using new platforms – such as the development of IT, different types of consultancy, call-centres, accounting services, etc. – implies that only those willing to provide work for the lowest amount of pay will get the work. Further, jobs in many of these branches will not be restricted by national borders, but will be open for international competition. For some who expect to earn money by sharing (flats, cars, etc.) this will also open up a more precarious and unstable situation, thereby reducing economic and social security. Self-employment in a digital economy can thus also be a smokescreen for, in reality, being without income in a household – although not registered as unemployed – thereby reducing the value of unemployment figures.

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