A service of the


The Platform Economy: How to Protect Workers While Promoting Innovation

The rise of the platform economy has presented policymakers with an array of regulatory challenges, ranging from taxation to competition policy to worker protection. Furthermore, many basic aspects of the platform economy are unclear, such as its size, the number of workers who take part in it and, indeed, its very definition. What types of regulation are necessary to ensure that the benefits of the platform economy are maximised for all Europeans? How can the productivity gains associated with the platform economy be distributed throughout society? Most importantly, how can policymakers support innovation while also protecting consumers, workers and communities?

Figure of the Month

Workers with a Second Job

This figure from Jan Drahokoupil and Agnieszka Piasna’s Forum article Work in the Platform Economy: Beyond Lower Transaction Costs shows the dramatic rise in the number of professionals, technicians and associate professionals with second jobs – many of which are through the platform economy. For more information, click on the figure.


Virtual Currencies, Distributed Ledgers and the Future of Financial Services

The phenomenon of virtual currencies has to be distinguished from the underlying distributed ledger technologies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies need to be subject to strict financial regulation and supervision to ensure investor protection. At the same time, distributed ledger technologies will shape the future of the financial services in many respects. Volker Brühl illustrates the disruptive potential of these technologies for selected financial products and processes.

Platform Economy

Collaborative Economy: Market Design and Basic Regulatory Principles

Despite the efficiencies and benefits associated with the collaborative economy, there are concerns about how it can be properly regulated to avoid unfair market competition. Georgios Petropoulos examines how we can restore a level playing field for online and offline services, and what rules will promote fair competition.

Quote of the Month

The Platform Economy

“(W)e must proceed in a way that allows citizens, in their multiple roles as workers and consumers, to participate in shaping the future, not just allowing it to happen to them. It is not a matter of robots coming, but rather one of how to direct the evolution of platforms and the development and deployment of intelligent tools and systems.”

from John Zysman and Martin Kenney's Forum article "Intelligent Tools and Digital Platforms: Implications for Work and Employment"

Letter from America

America's Cities Compete for Amazon

In October 2017, Amazon, the world’s fourth-largest company, received 238 proposals from North American cities aiming to become the site of its second corporate headquarters, a truly transformative investment for any city. Joseph Parilla discusses why American cities continue to compete with one another to see which one can provide the greatest incentives to businesses via so-called economic development tools – despite the fact that economists are highly sceptical of their effectiveness.

From the Archives

Net Neutrality

News that the America's Federal Communication Commission is planning to repeal Obama administration’s network neutrality rules have triggered a fractious and politicised debate. Rob Frieden describes the different approaches taken to network neutrality in the EU, Canada and the US.