Mapping Inequalities Across the On-Demand Economy

Narratives around the on-demand economy have often elided key differences in how the same policies, technologies, and practices can have contrasting effects on different workers’ experiences on the ground, both within and across sectors. As on-demand business models bring practices like algorithmic management and on-demand scheduling into new areas of work, these same practices may both empower and adversely affect workers in unanticipated ways.

Through multi-sited ethnographic research, this project examines the experiences of workers on labor platforms and serves to build a foundation for engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders in future research and to project viable pathways of policy intervention.

The fieldwork for this project targets what is at stake for workers across two segments of the on-demand economy: care and cleaning industry and ridehailing services, such as Uber and Lyft.

This project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K Kellogg Foundation.

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Journal Articles and Papers

Trusted strangers: Carework platforms’ cultural entrepreneurship in the on-demand economy

05.15.18 | New Media & Society | Julia Ticona, Alexandra Mateescu

Data & Society Postdoctoral Scholar Julia Ticona and Research Analyst Alexandra Mateescu investigate the consequences of “visibility” in carework apps. “Based on a discourse analysis of carework platforms and...

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The Taking Economy: Uber, Information, and Power

03.07.17 | Columbia Law Review | Ryan Calo, Alex Rosenblat

Ryan Calo and D&S researcher Alex Rosenblat write this analysis of the newly termed ‘taking economy’ of Uber. Sharing economy firms such as Uber and Airbnb facilitate trusted transactions...

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Periodical Articles and Posts


Julia Ticona


Alexandra Mateescu


Alex Rosenblat


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