Online Digital Employment Platforms and the International Labour Market

1 Research Collaborator position
(Deadline January 11th, 2021 12:00 )

Innovation policy; small and medium enterprises; start-up firms


The proposed research project will provide evidence to advocate digital freelancing employment platforms as an alternative to the traditional labor contracts. Furthermore, it can suggest better strategies for employers to find quality services more efficiently at lower costs, and for workers to position themselves properly to succeed in theonline competitions. In particular, it can be of interest for small and start-up businesses short of funds but in need of specialized talents, and therefore be potentially helpful to foster entrepreneurship in Italy, the UK and other countries. The selected candidate will visit the School of Economics of the University of East Anglia to get access to the data and to perform an in-depth analysis of the job postings.

In particular, during the visiting period abroad the researcher will focus on:

  1. The formation of employment relationships to verify the classic search and matching theory in labour economics and check how it might be affected in this new mode of employment.
  2. Influence of the cross-region employment flow.
  3. Establishment of a labor valuation equilibrium. In the traditional offline employment relationship, the valuation of a job applicant is established by their CV and interviews. But for the gig jobs on a digital platform, the traditional factors may play a lesser role, while a new factor is widely considered: the online reputation system consisting of experience on the platform and feedbacks. A freelancer new to a digital platform would go through a period of valuation adjustment to establish a new equilibrium, demonstrated by the profiled pay rate, online work history and the feedback score.
Enabled by the Internet technology, online digital employment platforms have presented opportunities for employers and freelancers to find each other regardless of their physical locations and at a lower administrative cost. For services that can be performed and delivered online and remotely, this mode allows the employers to recruit services from labour providers living in an economy setting with lower costs of living and accordingly, lower salary standards, while saving the overhead of hiring a full-time employer. And for the workers, the digital platforms allow them to access jobs from employers in wealthier economies who would offer a higher budget for the same kind of jobs in their home countries. The selected candidate will collect data of posted jobs, employers, candidates and their bidding prices, and the chosen winners on different job markets to conduct the abovementioned research agenda and to answer other relevant research questions.
Formal requirements
  • A PhD in Economics or Management or similar fields;
  • Having obtained the PhD within 10 years of the Master's degree and within 5 years of the deadline for this call;
  • A suitable background for carrying out research activity;
  • An excellent knowledge of English, both spoken and written;
Specific requirements
  • Good knowledge of Stata and R

1 year

Gross amount

approx. 24400€/year


Go for IT – Fondazione CRUI

Job Research Unit: 
Job Contract Type: 
Assegno di ricerca


Apply ONLINE only.

Before filling in the application form, please read thoroughly the full call and collect all the files you may need:


  • Personal info and contact info (compulsory);
  • University degree (compulsory);
  • PhD (compulsory only if stated in the full call).


  • The scanned copy of a valid identity document (Passport or Identity Card - compulsory);
  • Your CV in English (compulsory).