Older Workers and the Gig Economy

Older Workers and the Gig Economy

By
Rebecca Diamond, Paul Oyer, Cody Cook
AEA Papers and Proceedings. May
2019, Vol. 109, Pages 372-376

As the workforce ages, how will the work lives of older people evolve? One way to ease into retirement is to move to the gig economy where workers choose hours and intensity of work that fit their needs and capabilities. However, older workers are often reaping the benefits of the latter end of an implicit contract while gig economy workers are paid their marginal product. We show that age/earnings profiles in the traditional labor market are different than for Uber drivers. While the move to the gig economy generates flexibility, older workers are paid less than their younger coworkers.