Visible hands: How gig companies shape workers' exposure to market risk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


How do gig platforms prevent workers from defecting to a competitor? Drawing on 40 original interviews and survey data from 210 ride-hail drivers, the author finds that platform companies calibrate workers' exposure to market risk using gamified reward systems. These rewards protect compliant workers from changes in market conditions, raising the costs of accepting work from a competitor. Yet those who do not comply are “pushed” to the periphery, increasing their market risk. This article illustrates how platform companies can use their “visible hands” to harness and control market forces, shaping worker behavior within and across platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-79
Number of pages21
JournalIndustrial Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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