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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

Article #1669 - Heterogeneity among Self-Employed Digital Platform Workers. Evidence from Europe

IRE Vol 20: Issue 1, 2022, Pages 45-68

Author(s): Emilio Congregado (University of Huelva, Spain), María Isabel de Andrés (International University of Andalusia & University of Huelva, Spain), Eimear Nolan (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) and Concepción Román (University of Huelva, Spain)

This study examines the prevalence, types of activities, and characteristics of self-employment into digital platform work. Among others, we wonder if self-employment is the natural employment status to perform this type of work, or if this is the case but only for particular activities (i.e., on-location versus on-web), or for specific groups of the working population. Our analysis also addresses the initial motivation for becoming digital platform workers along with their working conditions in order to explore the differences between self-employed workers (workers who are self-employed in their main job), hybrid self-employed workers (workers who are self-employed in their secondary job) and paid-employees. We use data from two waves of the COLLEEM Survey (2017-2018) to estimate discrete choice models. Our results show that the probability of being a digital platform worker is higher for self-employed workers than for paid-employees, but that digital platform work is even more prevailing among hybrid self-employed workers. We also find that digital platform workers among the hybrid self-employed often have a precarious profile of necessity motivations and poor working conditions, whereas among the self-employed, digital platform work is much more associated with voluntary choices and pursuing aspirations related to work autonomy and a varied job.