Research

Algorithms, Inequalities and the Digital Economy

Timing: September 2019 – June 2022

Person/team in charge: Andrés Boix and Alba Soriano (University of Valencia).

Brief description: This research will focus on studying the risks associated to automated decision-making and platform-based discrimination; inequality risks associated to exclusion in high competitive markets and social side effects of data-driven and digitally brokered markets; and, competition based risks.

Timing of resulting publications:

  • January – June 2021: One scientific paper by PhD candidate (Alba Soriano) involved in the research.
  • January – June 2021: One scientific paper by Dr. Boix on the legal design solutions to improve social and economic efficiency in the sharing economy.
  • January – June 2022: Deliverable #2 (as identified in SHINE application): “Guide of Assessments of the Effects of Sharing Economy: Regulatory Approaches in the Reduction of Inequalities and other Social Impacts”.
  • January – June 2022: A book on the impact of the different regulatory approaches with a complete study of the cases of accommodation and transportation.

Survey on Attitudes and Perceptions of actual and potential users by Gender of Traditional Taxi services and Rail-hailing Platform services: the case of Barcelona and service Gender bias

Timing: September 2019 – June 2022

Person/team in charge: Germà Bel (University of Barcelona).

Brief description: This research will focus on obtaining the attitudes and perceptions of users of taxi and rail-hailing services by gender and age before and after the change of regulations regarding these two types of transport service provision. The objective is to provide information regarding the underlying user preferences that are currently not present in the debates nor in the design of policy reforms in this sector. The survey will be a source of primary information to estimate the gender bias of traditional taxi and rail-hailing service policy reforms.

Timing of resulting publications: Papers using quantitative techniques that allow to estimate the heterogeneous impact of policy reforms comparing not only the before and after impact, but also the differential impact of some actual or potential users by gender and age:

  • January – June 2021: One scientific paper.
  • January – June 2022: One scientific paper.

Digital Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Pitfalls and Legal design Strategies for online Platforms

Timing: September 2019 – June 2022

Person/team in charge: Rossana Ducato and Enguerrand Marique (Catholic University of Louvain).

Brief description: On the one hand, the research will perform a literature review of the discriminatory practices highlighted by scholars in the field of behavioural law and economics, data protection and anti-discrimination law. Then, an empirical research on a representative set of platforms operating in the sectors of mobility and accommodation at the European level will be performed in order to contrast and compare the choice architecture of such platforms with the discriminatory practices identified in the literature review.

On the other hand, the research will propose regulatory, contractual and technical solutions to reduce the risks of digital discrimination.

Timing of resulting publications:

  • One scientific paper by the PhD candidates involved in the research and one scientific paper by Dr. Ducato on the legal design solutions to prevent discrimination in sharing economy platforms:
  • January – June 2021: One scientific paper.
  • January – June 2022: One scientific paper.
  • January – June 2022: Deliverable #6: Proposal for a Legal Design Manifesto on “Brighter patterns” to fight discrimination in the sharing economy

A Legal Administrative Framework for Algorithmic Discrimination

Timing: September 2019 – June 2020

Person/team in charge: Alba Soriano (University of Valencia)

Brief description: The thesis focus on identifying the different ways in which algorithms can produce discrimination and analysing the current Data Protection framework as the main regulatory mechanism to deal with algorithmic discrimination and its shortcomings. The thesis also puts forward a series of proposals regarding the administrative law mechanisms that can be used in order to prevent and deal with situations of algorithmic discrimination.

Timing of resulting publications:

  • January – June 2021: Deliverable #3 (as identified in SHINE application): “Administrative Guidelines to avoid Gender Discrimination in the Sharing Economy”.
  • January – June 2021: Thesis.

Working Conditions of Platform Workers: the Youtuber and Instagrammer’s Case

Timing: September 2019 – June 2022

Person/team in charge: Adrián Todolí (University of Valencia)

Brief description: The thesis focus on identifying the different ways in which algorithms can produce discrimination and analysing the current Data Protection framework as the main regulatory mechanism to deal with algorithmic discrimination and its shortcomings. The thesis also puts forward a series of proposals regarding the administrative law mechanisms that can be used in order to prevent and deal with situations of algorithmic discrimination.

Resulting publications:

  • January – June 2021: Deliverable #4: Proposal of a “Bill of Rights for Digital Workers in a New Economy”.
  • Two papers in International Journals in English on “Profile and the existing career path to youtuber” (The results of the survey) and “Labour conditions and safety (psychological risks) of youtubers”.
  • January – June 2021: One scientific paper.
  • January – June 2022: One scientific paper.