Upjohn Institute holds researcher workshop on implications of outsourcing and contract work

Low sun through trees on a University of Chicago lawn

The Upjohn Institute, with financial support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, held a workshop at the University of Chicago's Harris School to bring together leading and emerging scholars to discuss their recent research related to issues of outsourcing, contract labor, and other types of fissuring. Papers from multiple disciplines addressed, among other topics, new measurement approaches for nontraditional work and evidence for how these employment arrangements affect workers.

Experts from across governments, academia and the nonprofit sector, nationally and internationally, presented or discussed at the workshop, which ran June 15-16.

Although most workers are still employees working for a single employer, there is rising attention and policy concern about the number of workers hired as independent contractors or through contract companies. Often such contracting arrangements are multi-layered.

The dominance of franchising in some sectors and, more recently, the rise of “gig” platforms also illustrate how the nature of work has fissured. Despite these developments, we know relatively little about how common such arrangements are or how quickly they have been changing. We know even less how these arrangements affect the wellbeing of different types of workers.

We hope that lessons learned from the workshop will inform policymakers at all levels as they contemplate how to regulate and otherwise address the evolving landscape of work arrangements.

Learn more from the workshop agenda, which includes presentation abstracts, papers and presentation slides, where available.

Date: June 15, 2023
Categories: Events