The effects of Uber diffusion on mental health in the UK

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



INSEAD Working Papers


Publication date

February 15, 2020


While the spread of digital technologies and the growth of associated atypical forms of work are attracting increasing attention, little is known about the impact of these new forms of work on well-being. This paper examines the effect of Uber diffusion on several dimensions of mental health among UK workers, taking advantage of the rollout of Uber across UK regions. We match individual-level information on health and sociodemographic characteristics from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) between 2009 and 2016 with data on the diffusion of Uber across the country. We first show that self-employment expands in the “transportation” occupational category after Uber’s introduction. The impact of Uber diffusion on well-being is mixed among transportation workers. Indeed, mental health, as measured by the General Health Questionnaire, improves for self-employed drivers (and this effect is larger for women than men), but anxiety levels also increase among these drivers.



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