Polarizing Trends in the Gig Economy

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Polarizing Trends in the Gig Economy

Fabian Braesemann, who joins us today, is a research fellow and data scientist at the University of Oxford. He works at the Oxford Future of Real Estate Initiative, a research center focused on trends around the property market. Fabian is also Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute. Fabian joins us to discuss trends in the gig economy. His discussion was centered around his paper, titled The Polarisation of Remote Work.

He started by shedding some light on the history of the gig economy and the level of research in the remote workspace. After remote work became prevalent in 2020, one would expect a high spatial polarization since there are cheaper societies to live in. But the reality is that a large chunk of people still work from home in expensive cities. Fabian explained the reason for this situation. He also highlighted the factors that affect physical proximity in this digital era.

Going forward, Fabian talked about the data he analysed for his research. He discussed why data from freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer were tailor-suited for his study. He also explained the process of retrieving and preprocessing the data that was largely unstructured from the API. Google Geocoding API was used to interpret the locations correctly. The result was then relayed to Global Data Lab. Lastly, SOCcer was used to standardize and classify the many occupations in the data.

Fabian then went into the insights from the research result. The researcher took a deeper dive into the correlation he observed between job skills, wages, geographic elements, and hiring competition. He also listed factors that cause lower job opportunities and wages in some geographical regions and ways they can improve their odds in the freelance community. 

In closing, Fabian discussed how the freelancing platforms are incorporating feedback to improve the experience of both the employer and the employee. He disclosed that further work could focus on the evolution of the gig economy over time and how freelancing jobs will react to new and emerging skill sets. You can follow Fabian on LinkedIn.

Fabian Braesemann is a Research Fellow and Data Scientist at the Saïd Business School and a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. His research focuses on data mining and analysing large-scale online data to understand the digital transformation of markets and economies in a digitally connected world. Furthermore, he is CEO and Co-Founder of the 'Datenwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft', a data science spinout company focused on applying social data science methods to economic, policy, and development problems.

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