The Effect of the Gig Economy on Labor Supply and Social Insurance Receipt

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


The gig economy offers individuals with flexible work arrangements, low barriers of entry, and potentially offers a valuable source of insurance. However, gig work opportunities differ from traditional work arrangements and therefore workers are not eligible for many important employer-sponsored benefits or labor protections. The goal of this project is to identify the effects of increased gig participation on individuals’ take up of social insurance. Early work examining the gig economy has focused primarily on labor supply, the value of flexibility, and income smoothing, leaving much to be learned about the interaction between this new labor market opportunity and take up of safety-net programs. Understanding the connection between these two will be especially important as the gig economy continues to grow, and crucial as we think about redesigning relevant labor policies and social insurance eligibility.