Management & Workplace Culture Book of the Year, 2020 Porchlight Business Book Awards
A Publishers Weekly Fall 2020 Big Indie Book
The dark side of the gig economy (Uber, Airbnb, etc.) and how to make it equitable for the users and workers most exploited.
When the “sharing economy” launched a decade ago, proponents claimed that it would transform the experience of work—giving earners flexibility, autonomy, and a decent income. It was touted as a cure for social isolation and rampant ecological degradation. But this novel form of work soon sprouted a dark side: exploited Uber drivers, neighborhoods ruined by Airbnb, racial discrimination, and rising carbon emissions. Several of the most prominent platforms are now faced with existential crises as they prioritize growth over fairness and long-term viability.
Nevertheless, the basic model—a peer-to-peer structure augmented by digital tech—holds the potential to meet its original promises. Based on nearly a decade of pioneering research, After the Gig dives into what went wrong with this contemporary reimagining of labor. The book examines multiple types of data from thirteen cases to identify the unique features and potential of sharing platforms that prior research has failed to pinpoint. Juliet B. Schor presents a compelling argument that we can engineer a reboot: through regulatory reforms and cooperative platforms owned and controlled by users, an equitable and truly shared economy is still possible.
About the Author
Juliet B. Schor is an economist and sociologist and a New York Times best-selling author. She teaches at Boston College and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Better Future Project.
William Attwood-Charles, Mehmet Cansoy, Lindsey “Luka” Carfagna, Samantha Eddy, Connor Fitzmaurice, Isak Ladegaard, and Robert Wengronowitz collaborated on this book.
"Eye-opening as it deconstructs the promises, and downfalls, of the sharing economy." — Foreword Reviews
“Punctures the hype surrounding the ‘sharing economy’ in this lucid and deeply researched study. . . . Schor backs her claims with detailed evidence, and identifies specific, actionable reforms. This incisive account makes a perplexing subject easier to grasp.” — Publishers Weekly
“The author, a nimble writer, concludes that ‘social technology’ has to match technology itself, the foremost need being ‘learning how to share.’ The gig economy is a failure, Schor sharply chronicles—but not one that can’t be redeemed by ‘cooperation and helping.’” — Kirkus Reviews
“Schor’s case studies skillfully represent the full spectrum of optimism and disenchantment—those previously bullish on being their own boss, who have since been dragged into despair. . . . The takeaway from this book is that a complete reimagining of city governance is required if the sharing economy is ever going to work for the people.”? — Financial Times