Call for Papers: “Understanding the Platform Economy: Socio-Economic Dynamics in new Digital Markets” (Special Issue of Socio-Economic Review)
- Elke Schüßler (Johannes Kepler University Linz)
- Juliet Schor (Boston College)
- Stefan Kirchner (Technical University Berlin)
- William Attwood-Charles (Boston College)
Papers can be submitted immediately, but no later than 15 March, 2019. The targeted publication of the special issue is the July 2020 issue of Socio-Economic Review.
The rise of digital platforms challenges traditional approaches to the organization of markets, work, and consumption and suggests a new economic era some have called the “platform economy.” The aim of this Special Issue is to better understand the socio-economic dynamics structuring the platform economy, with a focus on new “sharing” and gig labor platforms.
Platforms for “crowdsourcing”, “gigwork” and “sharing economy” such as Upwork, Uber and Airbnb organize buyer-seller relations in digitally-enabled marketplaces. These new marketplaces challenge existing economic practices and regulatory standards, disrupting established markets and forcefully creating new ones. A central feature of these marketplaces is the use of algorithms to set and enforce rules that shape the provision of services and labor. Algorithmic “management” has elicited critiques of the growing power of platforms to determine dynamics of value capture and distribution. Platform “workers” also resist control through work practices, exit and collective action. Citizens, consumers and regulators are contesting platform activities via bans, boycotts and legislative action. The companies use their power to shape these new, contested markets, but the future for platform capitalism is as yet unknown.
Our aim in this special issue is to bring together organizational, consumer, worker and regulatory perspectives on the platform economy to shed a new light on emerging market structures as well as central lines of contestation. We aim not only to advance empirical understanding of this new phenomenon, but also to contribute to a more theoretically informed debate in this multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted field of research.