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其实根本没有什么“Uber经济”

最近几年,围绕着新兴的数字经济,出现了大量的名词。有“零工经济”、“共享经济”等名称,也有“按需”、“平台”、“网络化”、“点对点”经济的概念。

然而没有一个适用于Uber。

也许我们应该创造一个新词,“Uber经济”。

毕竟,在所谓的零工经济中,Uber占据了总量的二分之一到三分之二。这一数据出自极富影响力的美国劳动经济学家Lawrence Katz与Alan Krueger即将发布的研究成果。

在其核心研究成果的预览中,他们将Uber称作“零工的典型雇主”。他们引用了谷歌趋势的数据,数据显示“Uber”一词的搜索量是其他零工概念公司(如Lyft、TaskRabbit、Handy与Instacart)搜索量之和的二倍。

Uber Economy or Uber-pic 1 第1张

这一数据看起来很大。但在总体上,Katz与Krueger估计所有这些从事在线零工的人,只占全部美国劳动力的0.5%。这一估计与之前对美国从事零工领域的人员数量的估计基本一致。麦肯锡在2015年进行的一项研究表示,这些工人在全部美国工作年龄人口中仅占不到1%。另外一个今年早些时间由摩根大通进行的研究发现,在任何一个月中,只有0.4%的成年人通过从事类似的零工挣钱。

Uber Economy or Uber-pic 2 第2张

上述数据揭示了规模较小但在持续增长的就业对Uber等类似服务的影响,但这种数据只是更大范围数据收集的初期尝试,这些数据收集正是在关注近期发展迅猛的相关经济部门。

类似的数据对于政策制定者来说是至关重要的,他们正不断地被要求修改法律与规章,来努力适应Uber等流行的新服务。去年,22各州通过了保护和规范专车服务的法律,这对Uber来说是一系列的胜利。争论甚至蔓延到了华盛顿,那里的政治家正在考虑如何修改古旧的劳动政策,使之适应类似的零工服务。基于最新的研究结果,“使之适应类似的零工服务”不如说成“使之适应Uber”。Uber很强大,但是用它来命名一个新经济模式时代的到来,恐怕还为时尚早。

Lots of names get tossed around for our new digital economy. The “gig economy.” The “sharing economy.” The “on-demand,” “platform,” “networked,” and “peer-to-peer” economies.

Nothing really fits.

But maybe we should just call it the the Uber economy.

After all, Uber alone could be responsible for half to two-thirds of all gig economy work, according to forthcoming research from influential US labor economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger.

In a preview of their core findings, the two describe Uber as the “quintessential employer of gig work.” They also cite Google Trends data showing that searches for “Uber” are double those for all other gig companies combined (i.e., Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy, Instacart).

Uber Economy or Uber-pic 1 第1张

(Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger)

That may look massive. But overall, Katz and Krueger estimate that these new online workers represent only 0.5% of the entire US labor force. That estimate is roughly in-line with previous stabs at estimating the ranks of US workers employed as part of the gig economy. A study released by McKinsey in 2015 said such workers accounted for less than 1% of the total US working-age population. A separate study released by JPMorgan Chase earlier this year found that just 0.4% of adults make money from gig jobs in any given month.

Uber Economy or Uber-pic 2 第2张

(JPMorgan Chase Institute)

Data showing a relatively small—though growing—employment impact for services such as Uber are just some of the early efforts to collect data on what has been a heavily hyped segment of the economy of late.

Such data will be crucial for policymakers who are increasingly being asked to change laws and regulations in an effort to accommodate popular new services such as Uber. Last year, 22 states passed laws to protect and legitimize ride-hailing, in a series of victories for Uber. The buzz has even reached Washington, where politicians right now are considering ways to revamp age-old labor policies that would accommodate gig work. Based on this new research, that might just mean accommodating Uber.


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