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CentrePiece article

Online hiring of offshore workers: the value of intermediaries


‘Old boy networks’ have not been rendered obsolete by modern communications technology. That is one of the conclusions of a study of global online labour markets by Christopher Stanton and Catherine Thomas. Their research shows that offline and local social ties help to increase the value of these markets. The study begins by noting that while the internet is connecting firms with remote workers, it remains difficult for people to get their first job. To address this problem, new intermediaries – ‘agencies’ – are enabling inexperienced workers to signal their quality to potential employers. Agency affiliation is especially important in technical work where worker quality is unknown until the job is done.


Christopher Stanton and Catherine Thomas

22 February 2016     Paper Number CEPCP468

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This CentrePiece article is published under the centre's Growth programme, Trade programme.