Must-Read: Nick Bunker: Trying to Get a Grip on the “Gig Economy”

Must-Read: Our smart young Equitable Growth whippersnapper Nick Bunker reads Dourado and Koopman and, correctly, sees the “gig economy” as a positive way of trying to turn our current sow’s ear of a low-pressure labor market into some reasonable facsimile of a silk purse. When put that way, what we need is not a halfway house between W-2 employees and 1099 independent contractors, but more expansionary monetary and fiscal policy:

Nick Bunker: Trying to Get a Grip on the “Gig Economy”: “The trend… starts around the year 2000…

…The sharing economy companies didn’t get started until at least eight years later… follows rather than causes the bulk of the increase in independent contracting. Dourado and Koopman point out that business dynamism… began to decline around 2000 as businesses stopped creating jobs at the rate they once did. These new gig-based or sharing economy businesses seem to be seizing the opportunity created by a structural change in the U.S. labor market rather than causing it…. If we want to understand this trend, perhaps we should change the focus of our investigations.

December 15, 2015


Brad DeLong
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