The Impact of Economic and Behavioral Drivers on Gig Economy Workers

5/2/19 | 4:15pm | E51-325
Reception to follow.





Gad Allon

Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor

Abstract: In today’s ever-expanding “gig economy”, independent workers can freely choose when to work as well as seamlessly switch between multiple platforms that offer different incentives. Once a small minority of low-skilled workers with relatively low income, the gig economy now attracts high-skilled workers who are opting to join a flexible workforce. Companies greatly benefit from increased labor flexibility as they can hire workers with different skill levels to work at different times while paying them only for the work they perform. Although the core of gig economy’s success lies in the perfect match between demand and supply, companies need to ensure that their services appeal not only to customers (demand) but also to service providers (supply). This poses an enormous challenge in planning and committing to a service capacity, during both peak hours (when demand is high), and off-peak times when only a handful of workers are needed. How can firms recruit the right number of on-demand workers at the right time? To address this question, it is important to first understand: How do gig workers make working decisions? Our project is in collaboration with a ride- hailing company with the goal to not only improve the way of predicting the number of drivers who will work during a given day and time, but also understand how to better incentivize them, as a way to match supply and demand.

Bio: Gad Allon is the Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor and Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, and the director of the Management and Technology Program at the university of Pennsylvania.

He received his PhD in Management Science from Columbia Business School in New York and holds a Bachelor and Master degree from the Israeli Institute of Technology.

His research interests include operations management in general, and service operations and operations strategy in particular. Professor Allon has been studying models of information sharing among firms and customers both in service and retail settings, as well as competition models in the service industry. His articles have appeared in leading journals, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management and Operations Research. Professor Allon won the 2011 “Wickham Skinner Early-Career Research Award” of the Production and Operations Management Society. He is the Operations Management Department Editor of Management Science and serves on the editorial board of several journals.

Gad is an award-winning educator, teaching courses on scaling operations and operations strategy and was recently named among the “World’s Top 40 B-School professors under the age of 40.” He has also been an innovative leader in many educational technology initiatives. He is the co-founder of ForClass, a platform that enables professors to drive higher student engagement and accountability in their classrooms. Professor Allon regularly consults firms both on service strategy and operations strategy.

Event Time: 

2019 - 16:15