In recent years, a number of online staffing platforms have emerged that allow independent contractors from around the world to sell their labour to an equally global pool of businesses. The creators of these markets play the role of labour market intermediaries by connecting buyers and suppliers.
Earlier this week, Economist and Assistant Professor of Information Systems at NYU Stern, John Horton, in a presentation at Oxford’s Internet Institute outlined some of the effects of the growth of the online staffing market. Mr Horton is among a small group of researchers and academics who believe that online staffing providers have great potential as platforms for conducting experiments. They provide immediate access to a large and diverse subject pool, and allow researchers to control the experimental context.