Brave new world of work: mapping the research field of digital platform work
Technological advances and demographic shifts are changing the labour market both in terms
of workforce composition and work arrangements. In industrialized developed countries
population ageing is squeezing the labour market as well as constituting a challenge to public
finances and the sustainability of the pension system.
The digital revolution has transformed the labour market and created new forms of work, such
as digital platform work, which is characterized by non-standard arrangements, alternative
working patterns, alternative places of work, and irregular working hours. One of the main
concerns raised by digital platform work relates to the vulnerability of the workers caused by
their misclassification. This leads to situations of bogus self-employment, thereby contributing
to a lack of social protection and to an increase in precariousness – which is a major concern for
social policy and has adverse effects on family formation.
Due to the absence of contractual relationships in most cases of digital platform work, this type
of work may accentuate the social security challenge already faced by industrialized countries
due to population aging. At the same time that workers cannot benefit from social protection
schemes, they do not contribute to the financing of social security either.
Platform work has been attracting increasingly more interest within the academic community.
Mapping this research field may contribute to a better understanding of the concept, and help
addressing some of the academic concerns about this form of work. Taking into consideration
its cross-cutting nature, we will carry out a bibliometric analysis on all scientific fields that have
been researching this topic, focusing on publications written in English and published in journal
articles. This analysis will contribute to a widely and dynamic view of the field. Statistical
multivariate analysis will be conducted to represent the privileged associations between the
categories of relevant variables.
Keywords: Demographic shifts, technological advances, digital platform work, bibliometric