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Article

Safeguards against Opportunism in Freelance Contracting on the Internet

British Journal of Industrial Relations. 2018. Vol. 56. No. 2. P. 342-369.

Based on a large sample of 5,756 Russian‐speaking freelancers from an international online labour market, this study provides rare quantitative evidence of the external labour market where freelancers act under constant threat of client‐side opportunism. We explore how the formalization of agreements, social embeddedness and mode of communication are associated with the incidence of opportunism and further possibilities of resolving problems caused by agreement violations. Social ties and face‐to‐face contact appear to be better safeguards against opportunism in freelance contracting, which is largely informal. The study has important implications for the debates about non‐standard work, online labour markets and job quality in the new economy.