February 16, 2017

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

Can You Gig It? An Empirical Examination of the Gig-Economy and Entrepreneurial Activity (joint with Gord Burtch and Brad Greenwood)

Talk description:
Seth Carnahan will examine how the entry of gig-economy platforms influences local entrepreneurial activity. On one hand, such platforms may reduce entrepreneurial activity by offering stable employment for the un- and under-employed. On the other hand, such platforms may enable entrepreneurial activity by offering work flexibility that allows the entrepreneur to pursue a nascent venture. To resolve this tension Carnahan examines the entry of the ride-sharing platform Uber X and the on-demand delivery platform Postmates into local areas. He examines the effect of each on crowdfunding campaign launches at Kickstarter, the world’s largest reward-based crowdfunding platform, and measures of self employment in U.S. Census data. Results indicate a negative and significant effect on crowdfunding campaign launches and rates of reported self employment after entry of Uber X or Postmates. The effect accrues primarily to un-funded and under-funded projects, suggesting that gig-economy platforms predominantly reduce lower quality entrepreneurial activity by offering viable employment for the un- and under-employed.

Seth Carnahan joined Ross after earning his PhD from the University of Maryland in 2013. In his research, he is interested in understanding how employees impact firm performance. One strand of his research examines why employees depart firms and the consequences that those departures have for their prior employers. He often focuses on why individuals decide to found new firms. Another strand of his research examines the intersection of human capital management and social issues, including firms’ social responsibility initiatives, the political beliefs of managers, and new modes of organizing, such as digital matching platforms.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubator here and direct questions about individual sessions to Julia Lee at jooalee@umich.edu.