Vili Lehdonvirta is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He is an economic sociologist whose research focuses on digital technologies, such as apps, platforms, and marketplaces. He is interested in how they are governed and how they shape the organization of economic activities in society, and with what implications to workers, consumers, businesses, and policy.
Lehdonvirta is the principal investigator of iLabour, a major research project on online freelancing and the gig economy, funded by the European Research Council. He also leads research projects on online labour markets’ effects in rural areas and crowdworkers’ learning practices. His other recent research takes a critical look at Bitcoin and blockchain. His previous research on virtual goods, virtual consumption and digital games is summarized in Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis, published by MIT Press and translated to Chinese by China Renmin University Press.
Lehdonvirta’s research draws on theories and approaches from economic sociology, institutional economics, sociology of work and labour, and science and technology studies. He and his students and postdoctoral researchers use a range of conventional social research methods as well as novel data science approaches.
Lehdonvirta is a Hugh Price Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, an associate member of the Department of Sociology, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute of data science, London. He holds a PhD in Economic Sociology from the University of Turku (2009) and a MSc from the Helsinki University of Technology (2005). Previously he worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Tokyo, and the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. Before his academic career, he worked as a game programmer.