Browsing by Subject "platform economy"

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  • Jakosuo, Katri (Future Academy, 2019)
    European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    Digitalisation and the platform economy have changed business and consumption patterns. Similarly, ways of working have also changed and become polarised as a result of automation, robots, e -commerce and blockchains bringing new innovations to the markets and changing earnings logic. Lower and middle-class jobs decrease or disappear, and high skilled roles increase. The new digital innovations and the progressive expansion of large platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber, have also placed pressure on the development of legislation, globally. The purpose of this study is to describe how digitalisation and the platform economy affect the service sector in general and how this disruption has implications for service sector companies, blue-collar workers and consumers. This research is based on qualitative content analysis. According to the results, digitalisation and the platform economy have both positive and negative effects. For example, these phenomena are expanding business markets and increasing the choice of consumers and the freedom of employees. On the other hand, the insecurity of employees and competition between local and global companies may increase uncontrollably. (C) 2019 Published by Future Academy
  • Saari, Leevi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis analyses the regulation of platform economy in the European Commission. The rise of large technology corporations as the underlying infrastructure of much of social activity has received fervent attention in recent years. However, there is still little consensus on the implications of this process. Does the new platform economy affect only market processes, or does it have broader societal consequences? Further, is platform economy something truly new or is it only a continuation of past forms of corporate power? These questions have acute practical importance. On the 15th of December 2020, the European Commission released a proposal for legislation that seeks to address the power of large platform corporations, called the “Digital Markets Act”. What kind of corporate power does this proposal seek to regulate? And what does it suggest about the regulatory paradigm of the European Commission? The contribution of this thesis consists of three parts. The first part is conceptual. In Chapter 2, an original analytical framework for classifying different dimensions of platform power is proposed. This framework helps to illustrate the continuities and novelties in the capabilities of platform corporations and bring together disconnected strands of research from different disciplines. The second part is empirical. In Chapter 3, the development of platform regulation in the European Commission from Spring 2015 to December 2020 is explained and the framework developed in Chapter 2 is used to analyze a recent proposal for regulation of platform economy, the Digital Markets Act. The last part of the contribution is theoretical. In Chapter 4, the Commission’s proposal is mapped on the horizon of potential alternative contrast spaces, which helps to illuminate the underlying political choices and clarify possible contradictions between different authors. The key conclusion of the work is that the European Commission has sought to address platform economy primarily as an aberration of efficient market processes. This has impacted the type of knowledge that is used in policymaking as well as the range of stakeholders consulted for the legislation. As a consequence, the European Commission ends up seeing platform corporations as actors whose capabilities are limited to manipulation of market activities. Systematic treatment of alternative framings is used to illuminate opportunities for broader analyses on the role of platform economy in the global political economy.
  • Bassett, Eli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The platform economy has emerged in the past two decades to become a remarkably profitable and increasingly global industry. The explosive growth of platform firms can be attributed to the outsourcing of almost all aspects of business operations to minimize costs. This is coupled by their motivation to grow rapidly to capture disproportionately large market shares. Consequently, platform firms have become global behemoths, and the labor which sustains their growth has come to be known as “gig work”, in which self-employed contractors work whenever they please, without the traditional protections provided to formal employees. The goal of this dissertation is to explain these mechanisms in relation to their potential impacts on income inequality. This dissertation tests two hypotheses: the outsourcing hypothesis and market concentration hypothesis. Each hypothesis proposes a causal chain whereby outsourcing and market concentration in the platform economy lead to disproportionate economic power and greater economic insecurity, and consequently links these outcomes to a double movement in the U.S. income distribution. Methodologically, this research employs contrastive comparisons, whereby exemplary platforms are compared with their traditional competitors, namely Uber with the taxi industry, Amazon with Walmart, and DoorDash with Domino’s Pizza. From these contrastive comparisons, evidence is gathered to demonstrate key differences between platforms and their traditional competitors. Additionally, this research is contextualized in terms of historical and ideological trends, particularly the gradual re-emergence of income inequality and the development of neoliberal hegemony. The findings demonstrate that through unique combinations of the hypothesized mechanisms, platform businesses do proliferate greater economic insecurity, and generate disproportionate economic power between platform providers and platform managers and owners. However, evidence directly linking these outcomes to downward or upward pulls in the U.S. income distribution remains inconclusive. That said, substantial evidence was found for the rejection of the outsourcing hypothesis. Evidently, given the complexity of social systems, the findings from this research may be inherently difficult to generalize on a global or systemic level. As such, I conclude that further research is necessary to draw more decisive and generalizable conclusions regarding the interplay between income inequality and the platform economy.
  • Juonala, Oona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Online platforms have become a major actor in the EU Digital Single Market. They offer a wide range of services, such as social media and streaming services. The platform economy is in general perceived to have high growth potential in Europe. Despite the popularity and growth potential of online platforms, their regulation in the EU is fragmented. Online platforms are regulated on the EU level through, inter alia, the Electronic Commerce Directive. In addition, they might also be subject to regulation on a national level and in some cases, even on a local level. This fragmentation of the regulatory framework has resulted in an uncertainty of the applicable rules. addition, the regulatory environment of the EU is not favourable for online platforms to scale and develop in, which in turn has stifled innovation. The European Commission has addressed this issue in its various initiatives. As a response, it will publish a draft proposal on the new Digital Services Act in the fourth quarter of 2020 that will modernise the legal framework for online platforms. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how online platforms should be regulated on the EU level in light of the new Digital Services Act. This research is divided into two separate research questions: - How has the approach of the European Commission towards the regulation of online platforms evolved since 2015? - What kind of regulatory model should be adopted for the regulation of online platforms in the context of the upcoming Digital Services Act of the EU? In the first part of this research the author provides a background on the existing legislative framework applicable to online platforms. Policy papers by the European Commission are analysed in order to study its approach towards the issue. In the second part, the characteristics of different regulatory models are examined and their suitability for the regulation of online platforms in the context of the EU is analysed. The scope of research is narrowed down to the regulatory models of top-down regulation, co-regulation, self-regulation, transferring powers to existing regulatory authorities and creating a new centralised regulatory authority. Regarding the first research question, this study finds that the Commission has had an inconsistent approach towards the regulation of online platforms. It has highlighted the importance of platforms and their regulation but has avoided introducing concrete proposals until the Digital Services Act. Regarding the second research question, this study finds that online platforms are a new dynamic business model that top-down regulation is too inflexible to regulate. Taking into account the characteristics of online platforms and the division of competences in the EU, this study recommends co-regulation for the regulation of online platforms.
  • Tupasela, Aaro; Snell, Karoliina; Tarkkala, Heta (2020)
    The Nordic countries aim to have a unique place within the European and global health data economy. They have extensive nationally maintained and centralized health data records, as well as numerous biobanks where data from individuals can be connected based on personal identification numbers. Much of this phenomenon can be attributed to the emergence and development of the Nordic welfare state, where Nordic countries sought to systematically collect large amounts of population data to guide decision making and improve the health and living conditions of the population. Recently, however, the so-called Nordic gold mine of data is being re-imagined in a wholly other context, where data and its ever-increasing logic of accumulation is seen as a driver for economic growth and private business development. This article explores the development of policies and strategies for health data economy in Denmark and Finland. We ask how nation states try to adjust and benefit from new pressures and opportunities to utilize their data resources in data markets. This raises questions of social sustainability in terms of states being producers, providers, and consumers of data. The data imaginaries related to emerging health data markets also provide insight into how a broad range of different data sources, ranging from hospital records and pharmacy prescriptions to biobank sample data, are brought together to enable "full-scale utilization" of health and welfare data.
  • Pulkka, Ville-Veikko (2019)
    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore Finns? labor market development predictions for the next ten years and shed light on preferred policy responses to the digital economy. Design/methodology/approach Nationally representative survey data employed in this paper were collected in autumn 2017. The data collection utilized a multiphase sampling, and the interviews (n=1004) were carried out on telephone to minimize selection-bias and produce demographically balanced data. Findings Over two-thirds (71 percent) of Finns do not expect technological unemployment to constitute a permanent problem in the digital economy. Nevertheless, 74 percent assume that technological unemployment will increase at least temporarily. A considerable majority (85 percent) also believe that future jobs will be more precarious. Younger generations, despite their currently weak position in the labor market, are surprisingly more optimistic in their predictions. Analysis of preferred policy responses support this paper?s main thesis that the Finnish view on the future of work is rather optimistic: education reforms and streamlining the current social security gather dedicated support, whereas more unconventional ideas such as basic income or work-sharing remain contested. Originality/value To predict possible barriers to labor mobility stemming from digital economy discourses and to anticipate possible political fluctuations, studies on the public view are needed. This research aims to provide a solid framework for further comparative explorations of the public view.