I will be presenting our paper, “Surviving and Thriving in Online Labor Markets” this weekend at WISE 2015. Our study aims to uncover the dynamics shaping the online labor markets (freelancer.com, upwork.com, elance.com …), with a focus on the role of country development level on the IT service providers’ ability to survive and earn a living.

Using data from Freelancer.com, IMF, and World Bank, we found that developing country providers had systematic advantages in both survival and wage growth. The role of individual reputation was more pronounced for developing country providers. Somewhat surprisingly we found that providers from developing countries earned more and enjoyed higher earnings growth than their counter parts in developed countries. This is interesting, as it would seem like online labor markets will be dominated by developing country providers in the long run.

Before heading out to WISE this weekend, I made our paper available in SSRN. If you are interested in the topic you can find our article here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2701471