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John S. Ahlquist

What it means to “have a job” or “go to work” is changing, yet we still have only a limited grasp of these changes and what they imply for everything from regulation to political institutions. The author links the new “task approach” to labor economics with theories of transaction costs to explore how changing technology impacts the contractual and regulatory organization of work.  He highlights important areas where both basic and policy-oriented research are needed, including data infrastructure; property rights in personal information; mismatch between regulatory policy and the work arrangements of the future; and the possibilities for collective action and political mobilization among workers.