Digital Economy and a New Paradigm of the Labor Market

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-12-35-45

E. Sadovaya (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The article attempts to understand the phenomenon of digitalization of the economy from the viewpoint of its social consequences. The author educes interrelations between a technological progress and processes occurring in the social and labor sphere in their inseparable unity, assesses their impact on the quality of working life and the prospects for development of the social sphere under new conditions. Analyzing the development logic of digital economy, which found its physical expression in digital platforms, the author gives distinctive examples of transformation specific for separate sectors of economy in various world regions. This generates a new economic reality, creating new areas: the economy on demand, gig-economy, network economy, sharing economy, joint consumption economy. The author notes that the possibilities for further extensive development of markets determine the fact that nowadays only those innovations are recognized which lead to cost savings. The digital economy technologies provide a manufacturer who produces goods “on demand” with opportunities for a significant reduction in costs. Under conditions that allow the extensive use of foreign resources in terms of outsourcing, these goods are not targeted at the mass consumer. From the social point of view, the main “side effect” of the massive use of digital platforms is a reduction in the demand for labor from a high-tech economy. As a result, labor markets of almost all countries are under serious pressure due to underutilization of human capital, owing not only to the rise of unemployment, but also to the widespread of underemployment. The author concludes: the digital economy is not merely the use of new technologies that enhance the efficiency of previous business processes, but rather an entirety of system changes. They form qualitatively new principles for organization of a separate business, the economy, and society as a whole, transforming social relations through a change of the social and labor sphere. 

Keywords: digital economy, platform employment, gig-economy, sharing economy, labor market, employment, unmanned technologies, labor relations 


1. Negroponte N. Being Digital. New York, Knopf, 1995. 256 p.

2. Sukhova S. Gonka za “tsifroi”. Spasut li nadezhdy na tsifrovizatsiyu rossiiskii biznes [Race for the Digit. Will the Hopes for Digitalization Save Russian Business] Available at: (accessed 17.09.2017).

3. Russian Federation Government. Order from July 28, 2017. No. 1632-p. (In Russ.) Available at: 9I5v7yLVuPgu4bvR7M0.pdf (accessed 11.12.2017).

4. Castells M. The Information Age. Economy, Society, and Culture. Vol. I: The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 625 .

5. Vaipan V. A. Osnovy pravovogo regulirovaniya tsifrovoi ekonomiki [Fundamentals of Legal Regulation of the Digital Economy] Available at: http://xn--7sbbaj7auwnffhk.xn-p1ai/article/26874 (accessed 20.03.2018).

6. Digitalization of the Economy (In Russ.) Available at: (assessed 30.10.2017).

7. Suri R. It’s About Time: The Competitive Advantage of Quick Response Manufacturing. New York, Productivity Press. 2010. 228 p.

8. Suri R. Quick Response Manufacturing: A Companywide Approach to Reducing Lead Times. Portland, Productivity Press, 1998. 576 p.

9. Technology Vision 2016. Available at: (assessed 30.10.2017).

10. Bögenhold D., Klinglmair R., Kandutsch F. Solo Self-Employment, Human Capital and Hybrid Labour in the Gig Economy. Foresight and STI Governance, 2017, vol. 11, no. 4, p. 23-32. DOI:10.17323/2500-2597.2017.4.23.32

11. A New Technological Revolution: Challenges and Opportunities for Russia. Expert-analytical Report. Moscow, Center for strategic development, 2017. 136 p. (In Russ.)

12. French L. Sharing Economy Shakes up Traditional Business Models. Available at: (accessed 12.04.2018).

13. Kwork – Convenient Store Freelance Services (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 12.04.2018).

14. McKinsey Global Institute Report. A Labor Market that Works: Connecting Talent with Opportunity in the Digital Age. Available at: (accessed 14.07.2017).

15. Artificial Intelligence Powered by Human Intelligence. Available at: (assessed 30.10.2017).

16. The World Bank Report “Digital dividend” (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 07.11.2017).

17. Bruns B., Luque J. Great Teachers. How to Raise Student Learning in Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank Group. Washington, D.C., 2014. Available at: (accessed 11.12.2017).

18. The Emerging Platform Economy. Available at: (accessed 23.11.2017).

19. Botsman R., Rogers R. What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. New York, Harper Business, 2010. 304 p.

20. Manukov S. Kogda innovatsii ni k chemu ne provodyat [When Innovation Leads to Nothing]. Expert Online, 17.10.2017. Available at: (accessed 15.01.2018).

21. Workforce of the Future. The Competing Forces Shaping 2030. Available at: (accessed 16.10.2017).

22. Sadovaya E.S. Mezhdunarodnye standarty v sfere truda: instituty i mekhanizmy realizatsii (opyt razvitykh stran i Rossii) [International Labor Standards: Institutions and Implementation Mechanisms (Experiences of Developed Countries and Russia)]. Moscow, IMEMO, 2013. 205 p. ISBN 978-5-9535-0388-4

23. Deloitte. Global Human Capital Trends 2018. The Workforce Ecosystem: Managing beyond the Enterprise. Available at: (accessed 02.05.2018).

24. Matthews B. Freelance Statistics: The Freelance Economy in Numbers. Available at: (accessed 08.01.2017).

25. Pofeldt E. Shocker: 40% of Workers Now Have ‘Contingent’ Jobs, Says U. S. Government. Forbes, 25.05.2015. Available at: (accessed 13.04.2018).

26. Kapustin A. Didzhitalizatsiya: kak trebovatel’nye klienty delayut banki luchshe [Digitalization: How Demanding Customers Make Banks Better]. Forbes, 06.07.2017. Available at (accessed 18.05.2018).

27. Digital Economy & Society in the EU. Available at: (accessed 22.04.2018).

28. Milanovic B. The Haves and the Have-nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. New York, Basic Books, 2011. 280 p.

29. Piketty T. Le capital au I siècle. Paris, Seuil, 2013. 86 p.

30. World Bank. “Overview” in World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development. Washington, D.C., 2012. 40 p.

31. Basic income. Available at: (accessed 22.04.2018). 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Sadovaya E. Digital Economy and a New Paradigm of the Labor Market. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 12, pp. 35-45.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.