Measuring the Financial Health of Gig Workers in China
The growth of digital platforms has created new employment opportunities for workers globally that did not exist before. Despite the benefits of platform work, gig workers still lack the protections available through formal employment. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact exposed the financial vulnerability of gig workers. With the support of MetLife Foundation, BFA Global and the China Academy of Financial Inclusion(CAFI) is conducting research with delivery riders in China to propose a way of measuring their financial health, and crafting financial products and services appropriate for them.
The attention on the financial health of delivery drivers, and gig workers in general, is timely given their role in providing primary and secondary sources of livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after. This paper proposes a modified measure called “Financial Health+,” which builds on the broadly accepted core concepts of financial health and is adapted to fit the context of gig workers and China. This paper thus contributes to the growing literature which seeks to develop and apply financial health measures to different segments in countries around the world, in order to consider how best to improve financial wellbeing.