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Medium | 10.19.17

Uber is Charging Drivers to Work

Alex Rosenblat

D&S researcher Alex Ronseblat explores when incentives in the gig economy become deceptive.

“While charging for work opportunities is reminiscent of multi-level marketing, like Mary Kay or Amway, this is different because Uber controls so much of the labor process, like dispatch, and competing promotional pay, in addition to setting the base rates at which drivers earn their income. In other words, drivers can use their labor as collateral on their down payment now in exchange for earning a premium on their labor later, but Uber ultimately controls whether or not the promotion is worthwhile.”

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