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Digital technologies, gig work and labour share

Henley, Andrew ORCID: 2022. Digital technologies, gig work and labour share. Cambridge Journal of Economics 46 (6) , pp. 1407-1429. 10.1093/cje/beac043
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Conflict over the functional income distribution, discussed and explained in Keith Cowling’s work in the 1980s, remains a feature of capitalist economies. In the 21st century labour flexibilization strategies have become a key tool in enabling monopoly capitalists to manipulate the functional distribution of income. Through the lens of institutional theory, this paper traces labour flexibilization in the UK since the 1980s, in order to describe and evaluate how the use of digital technologies have become allied to non-standard contracting and ‘dependent’ self-employment in the growth of the gig economy. The paper argues that this provides employers with increased flexibility of the labour input at both extensive and intensive margins. Digital technology and gig-working also position dominant internet platform businesses to apply downward pressure to labour share at a monopoly-monopsony nexus between individual consumers and new service sector workers. This has led to new ways in which employment contracts and the nature of organisations as an outcome of monopoly capitalist labour process are contested.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: gig economy digital platforms self-employment labour share monopoly capital
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0309-166X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 24 August 2022
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 13:35

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