The Gig Economy and Financial Inclusion of Women in Latin America

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Feb 2023
The development and expansion of platforms, as an opportunity to identify and connect labor demand and supply, has generated favorable expectations of job opportunities for less integrated groups such as women. This expansion, however, raises questions about the generation of sustainable income and opportunities for job stabilization and formalization. How should we leverage digital channels to improve women's financial inclusion? What is their financial profile and their demand for financing in platforms in the region? Is it possible for these platforms to be a solution in situations of economic vulnerability? Financial inclusion goes hand-in-hand with financial development and remains a challenge for Latin America. This paper follows a novel path by focusing on the conditions associated with gig economy women workers in the household services segment, as surveyed in four Latin American countries. The results show that gig economy platforms: i) have the potential to contribute to improving women's financial inclusion; ii) enable an "activity effect" and a "formalization effect"; and iii) identify lack of trust in payment instruments as the main obstacle to improve financial inclusion.