Professor Mark Graham explains that Digital labor is increasingly coming to the attention of policy-makers and development practitioners. He focuses on four widely-theorized changes that digital labor will bring about: improved worker bargaining power, economic inclusion, disintermediated value chains, and upgrading. Graham focuses on both the observed potentials for workers, as well as the risks and costs associated with connecting directly to a truly transnational labor market. He shows that although there are important and tangible benefits to a range of workers, there are also a range of risks and costs that unduly impact on the livelihoods of digital workers. Building on those concerns, Graham concludes with a reflection on four broad strategies that could be employed to improve conditions for digital workers.

This talk was recorded at the Oxford University Digital Transformations of Work Conference as part of Green Templeton College’s Future of Work Programme. This event brought together leading experts on work, employment and labour markets to discuss how the internet and digital platforms are transforming the world of work. It took place at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, on 10 March 2016.

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