The gender earnings gap in the gig economy: Evidence from over a million rideshare drivers

Cody Cook, Rebecca Diamond*, Jonathan V. Hall, John A. List, Paul Oyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The growth of the "gig"economy generates worker flexibility that, some have speculated, will favour women. We explore this by examining labour supply choices and earnings among more than a million rideshare drivers on Uber in the U.S. We document a roughly 7% gender earnings gap amongst drivers. We show that this gap can be entirely attributed to three factors: Experience on the platform (learning-by-doing), preferences and constraints over where to work (driven largely by where drivers live and, to a lesser extent, safety), and preferences for driving speed. We do not find that men and women are differentially affected by a taste for specific hours, a return to within-week work intensity, or customer discrimination. Our results suggest that, in a "gig"economy setting with no gender discrimination and highly flexible labour markets, women's relatively high opportunity cost of non-paid-work time and gender-based differences in preferences and constraints can sustain a gender pay gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2210-2238
Number of pages29
JournalReview of Economic Studies
Volume88
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

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