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International Freelance Market: Prospects for Development
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

International Freelance Market: Prospects for Development

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2020-3-35-43
© Vera A. SAUTKINA, 2020
Received 29.09.2020
Vera A. SAUTKINA (, Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Leading Researcher, Sector of Social Policy and Labor Market Studies, Department of Complex Socio-Economic Research, Center of Comparative Socio-Economic and Political Studies, ORCID 0000-0002-6891-7726,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Digital technologies are used in almost all types of modern activities. As a result, new professions and whole segments emerge on the labor market, structurally forming a certain transnational network. The article attempts to consider the processes of origin and prospects for the further development of the international electronic freelance market, taking into account the social aspects of this phenomenon. The paper uses methods of source analysis and notes the difficulties of statistical observation of processes occurring in real time. On the basis of a specially developed index and sociological survey data, the parameters of the international freelancing market are presented. This allows us to assess the positive trends in the expansion of the virtual employment process, as well as possible risks and problems. The study concludes that at present virtual labor relations, due to their professionalization and institutionalization, are becoming a real employment tool for various categories of workers, and also perform a set of social functions. The most important and promising consequence of the increased use of freelance labor from rural areas is a possible reversal in the trend of increasing urbanization, when the majority of the population is forced to look for work in large cities. The development of the virtual labor market in the future can help overcome barriers to the economic development of subsidized regions. However, real practice shows that due to the lack of labor standards and rights regulating this type of labor relations, especially in the regions of Asia and Africa, workers become heavily dependent on market fluctuations, limiting their access to health care and other social benefits. The search for the optimal model of social protection for freelancers is complicated by the fact that the administration of real incomes employed in this area becomes difficult. According to the author, the problems of providing freelancers with the full range of government guarantees are associated with the solution of many financial problems, which must be overcome by the full legalization of virtual employment.

For citation:

Sautkina V. International Freelance Market: Prospects for Development. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2020, no 3, pp. 35-43.

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