To regulate or not to regulate? Jordan’s approach to digital ride-hailing platform Careem

Zintl, Tina
Externe Publikationen (2022)

in: Labor and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa (POMEPS Studies 45), 76-81

Volltext/Full text

Digitalization is a disruptive megatrend which cannot be stopped but needs to be steered and used. Just how regulators should respond to it is less clear. For instance, Jordanian authorities faced the boom of the ride-hailing platform Careem, now an Uber subsidiary, in Jordan’s capital Amman. They were forced to choose between licensing Careem, and thus allowing flexible yet informal job creation, or protecting the entrenched taxi businesses. Against the backdrop of Jordan’s dire economic situation and rampant unemployment figures, regulators decided for a middle way, licensing ride-hailing platforms, yet limiting their growth and confining them to an upmarket line of business. As this paper demonstrates, this approach created new fractions and insider-outsider dynamics on the labour market.
The paper draws on interviews with Careem and taxi drivers, as well as expert interviews with staff and customers in 2019 to show (i) how Careem drivers’ employment situation allowed for comparatively high income opportunities but exposed them to considerable financial risks also due to obligatory car ownership, and (ii) how regulators’ differentiated approach created fairer competition but also led to labour market segmentation by distorting wage levels and incentives for the highly-skilled, who also experience de-skilling while working outside their professional field. Vulnerabilities and precarious working conditions were further exposed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Über die Autorin

Zintl, Tina

Politikwissenschaftlerin

Zintl

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