Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE)

Owning Institution

The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment promotes better understanding of the conditions, policies, and institutions that affect the well-being of workers and their families and communities. We inform public debate with hard evidence about inequality, the economy, and the nature of work.

Items published

Working paper

1 Sep 2017

Since 2012, the platform economy has received much academic, popular, and regulatory attention, reflecting its extraordinary rate of growth. This paper provides a conceptual and theoretical overview of rapidly growing labor platforms, focusing on how they represent both continuity and change in the world of...


1 Jun 2016

Recent reports on the “gig economy” create an impression that a dizzying mix of technological and competitive forces is fundamentally reworking the landscape of employment in the United States. A central aspect of this change is the perceived rise of independent contracting as an alternative...

Working paper

1 Jan 2014

A common but understudied argument is that the reorganization of work has contributed to the deterioration of labor standards in the US over the past four decades. Yet an analysis of existing aggregate data does not show a strong, unambiguous increase in key measures of...

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