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January 17, 2024

Brown Bag Seminar Industrial Economics

Who Is AI Replacing? The Impact of Generative AI on Online Freelancing Platforms


January 17, 2024
11:30 - 12:30
Francine D. Blau Room 3.3.002B + 3.3.002C


Jonas Hannane, DIW Berlin

This paper studies the impact of generative AI technology on the demand for online freelancers using a large dataset from a leading global freelancing platform. We focus on how the release of generative AI tools affects various freelance jobs that require different skills or software. Our findings indicate a 21 percent decrease following the ChatGPT introduction in the number of job posts for automation-prone jobs when compared to jobs requiring manual-intensive skills. We also find that the introduction of image-generating AI technologies led to a significant 17 percent decrease in the number of job posts related to image creation. Furthermore, we utilize prior evidence on AI exposure to different occupations and Google Trends to demonstrate that the more pronounced decline in freelancer demand within those specific occupations is related to their heightened exposure to AI technology, as well as higher general public awareness of ChatGPT’s substitutability.


Jonas Hannane, DIW Berlin

Topics: Digitalization , Firms