Errand Runners of Digital Platform Capitalism: The Errand Economy as a Contribution to the Discussion on the Gig Economy

  • İsa Demir Bülent Ecevit University
Keywords: gig economy, platform economy, platform capitalism, gig worker, platform worker


This article describes a new concept called the errand economy. It examines the dark side of the platform economy and the gig economy and makes a valuable contribution to the field. The concepts, especially for liberal scholars, hide the negative impact of platform capitalism on production relationships and the working class by emphasising digital technologies and piecework. The errand economy, however, especially highlights the degradation of labour, regardless of its qualifications, alongside processes such as flexibilisation, precarisation, and informalisation. That is because, under the conditions of the errand economy, platforms treat all types of work as cheap, worthless and degraded errands. The main mission of the platform economy is to end employment by using the discourse of flexibility and entrepreneurship and to transform all employees into errand workers by classifying them as self-employed. For this reason, the article proposes to use the concept of the errand economy together with the platform economy, which refers to digital infrastructures, and the gig economy, which emphasises the piecework.

Author Biography

İsa Demir, Bülent Ecevit University

İsa Demir is an assistant professor at Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University’s Department of Social Work. His areas of interest are the sociology of work, work ethic, platform economy, and career planning discourse in the neoliberal economy. Currently, he studies the working conditions and occupational diseases of platform-based couriers.