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Digital platforms: a qualitative approach to the labor conditions in Peru

August 2021

  Joaquín González

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Summary

This paper presents the results of the qualitative study that aimed to describe and analyze the main features that drivers’ working conditions acquired as a result of their participation in digital platforms in Peru.

Throughout the twenty-first century, and especially in recent years, we witnessed a process of constant expansion of Internet access and use at a global level.

The centrality that the Internet and digital platforms have acquired has led to major transformations, not only at the economic level, but also in the workplace. This process of “platformization” has significantly albeit heterogeneously involved the Global South, reproducing a set of inequalities and power relations in the process. Peru was no exception. Since their introduction in the country, in the mid-2010 decade, the presence of this type of digital platform has increased exponentially.

Although some academic articles have recently been published analyzing the topic, it’s necessary to clarify the real working conditions of drivers working with digital platforms in Peru, the number of which continues to increase to this day. For this, it is necessary to take into account that this is not a homogeneous group, but that there are significant differences in income and working conditions.

This report presents the results of the qualitative study that aimed to describe and analyze the main features that drivers’ working conditions acquired as a result of their participation in digital platforms in Peru. To this end, twelve semi-structured interviews with application drivers were conducted. Through these, information regarding income and employment benefits, as well as the representations and evaluations that drivers themselves have regarding their working conditions were collected.

In this way, the present report seeks to help clarify the working conditions of drivers working with taxi and delivery applications, with a view to generating an academic discussion in this regard in our country and guiding the formulation of public policies.

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