2018-06-12 | 林明锋：Studies of online labor markets
Online labor markets have seen tremendous growth in the past decade around the globe. These markets allow employers and employees to connect virtually on the platform and represent the long-tail of outsourcing enabled by internet technologies. But such markets also, inevitably, involve significant risks to both sides of the market due to information asymmetry. Many mechanisms, rooted in classic economic theories, have been devised to ensure transaction efficiencies. The effectiveness of these mechanisms, however, deserves empirical validation. These online labor markets, therefore, represent an interesting context to test hypotheses that we could generate from traditional economic theories. I will discuss several projects that my coauthors and I have been conducting using a proprietary dataset from an online labor market, particularly one that focuses on the financial guarantees that potential employees could provide to future employers. If I guarantee my work by putting down a “deposit,” which I will forfeit if I receive the opportunity to work for you but end up not delivering, will you trust me more and hire me? This work is co-authored with Qiang Gao, City University of New York; and Yong Liu, University of Arizona.
Mingfeng Lin is an Associate Professor of Information Technology Management at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He studies online crowdfunding (particularly its debt and equity forms), online labor markets, and other online platforms. He is a fellow at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, and a research affiliate at the Center for Analytical Finance, University of California Santa Cruz. His research has appeared in leading journals Management Science and Information Systems Research and has won several best paper awards, as well as the Sandy Slaughter Early Career Award of INFORMS Information Systems Society. He is an associate editor at Information Systems Research, one of the track co-chairs for the 2018 International Conferences on Information Systems (Economics and IS track), and his research has been funded by the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Economic Club of Washington, among others. He received his BA and MA in Economics from Beijing University, and MA in Economics and Ph.D. in Business and Management (Information Systems) from the University of Maryland, College Park. From 2010 to 2018 he worked at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, as an Assistant Professor (2010-2017), then as a tenured Associate Professor (2017-2018).