University of California, Berkeley

To shed new light on the prevalence and nature of independent contracting (including gig work), with a focus on documenting how both pre- and post-retirement older workers combine independent contracting with other sources of income

  • Amount $219,875
  • City Berkeley, CA
  • Investigator Annette Bernhardt
  • Year 2018
  • Program Working Longer
  • Sub-program

This grant funds a project led by Annette Bernhardt and Jesse Rothstein at the University of California, Berkeley to study the incidence and characteristics of independent contracting using tax return data for California from 2013 to 2017. The study will focus, in particular, on how both pre- and postretirement older workers combine independent contracting with other sources of income. Analyzing both W-2s and 1099s, Bernhardt and her team will look closely at persons with both types of incomes, permitting an assessment of whether independent contracting is the main or supplemental work activity. The richness of the dataset will also allow preliminary analysis of trends and patterns into and out of independent contracting work over time and correlations between independent contracting and race, gender, ethnicity, and age. The linked dataset created will also provide a significant resource to the state of California, to other states wanting to broaden data sources on independent contractors, and to researchers who can apply to use the datasets in their own work.

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