The Ethical Debate about the Gig Economy

A major socio-technological phenomenon of recent years has been the rapid growth of digital platforms that support flexible, on-demand, and typically short-term work (‘gigs’) across an expanding range of industries. This so-called ‘gig economy’ encompasses popular ride-sharing platforms, such as Lyft and Uber; micro-work platforms, such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk; and ‘crowd work’ platforms, such as Fiverr and Upwork, amongst others. The gig economy is a significant and growing phenomenon, which involves directly or indirectly millions of people, and modifies one of the most fundamental aspects of modern economy and society, the labour market. Because of the scope and depth of its impact, the gig economy raises important ethical issues. This project involves the analysis of the nature and ethical implications of the gig economy through a systematic review of the current literature.