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Discussion Papers
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Mobility Restrictions and the Substitution between On-Site and Remote Work: Empirical Evidence from a European Online Labour Market

Mueller-Langer, Frank; Gomez-Herrera, Estrella (2021). Mobility Restrictions and the Substitution between On-Site and Remote Work: Empirical Evidence from a European Online Labour Market, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 21-26.

Intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, online labour markets are at the core of the economic and policy debate about the future of work and the conditions under which we work online. We analyse the effects of an increase in the cost of on-site work induced by COVID-19-related mobility restrictions on the substitution between on-site and remote job postings and between on-site and remote hires. We benefit from the fact that the implementation of stay-at-home requirements varies by country, time and level. We use unique company data from a large European online labour market. We provide empirical evidence for a positive effect of stay-at-home restrictions on job postings and hires of remote work relative to on-site work. Overall, our results suggest that employers are substituting remote employment for on-site employment, while there is no substantial change in overall employment.

Available at SSRN

Forthcoming in: Information Economics and Policy