Workforce Management in the New Economy

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My dissertation examines issues related to the management of workers under new technological advances or regulations. The dissertation is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on dispute management in online gig platforms. Traditionally, disputes between a worker (freelancer) and a client on an online gig platform are mediated by the platform itself, which can be viewed as unhelpful or biased. However, emerging platforms promise to resolve disputes with a novel tribunal system that relegates resolution to individual platform users through a voting mechanism. To assess whether emerging platforms have an advantage over traditional online labor platforms, we examine the dispute resolution models used by both centralized and decentralized platforms using a game theoretic model. The second part of the dissertation shifts the focus to workers in the service industry who tend to have varying work schedules from week to week. Such unpredictable work schedules can be detrimental to their welfare. The predictive scheduling law, implemented in some areas, serves to protect these workers by requiring firms to schedule work in advance or compensate workers if they do not. However, opponents of the law argue that such intervention may be harmful to both firms and workers. To analyze the law's effect, we build a game theoretic model and present empirical evidence using data from the statewide implementation of a predictive scheduling law in Oregon. In the third part of the dissertation, we again focus on workers on an online platform. The rise of the gig economy has led regulators and the general public to be concerned about the welfare of freelancers who often do not receive employment benefits but have the flexibility to dictate their work pace. As such, there are calls for labor laws to be put in place for gig workers and for platforms to employ freelancers as employees. Moreover, the issue of whether to hire freelancers or employees has created a divide among gig platforms. To study the value of having freelancers over employees in an online platform, we conduct a field experiment with a major food delivery platform. Our study yields insights on how platform should manage freelancers and employees. Through these three parts, my dissertation delves into the intricacies of worker management under evolving technological landscapes and regulatory frameworks, contributing to the broader understanding of these complex issues.

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238 pages


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future of work; gig work; platform economy; worker management


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Union Local


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Cui, Yao

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Chen, Li
Chen, Yi
Girotra, Karan

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Ph. D., Management

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document




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dissertation or thesis

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