becoming an Uber driver in a developing country
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze why people have become suppliers in the sharing economy (SE) as Uber drivers in a developing country. Design/methodology/approach – From a background on SE, car sharing and gig economy, the authors carried out a qualitative research. The analysis was based on 20 semi-structured interviews conducted with Uber drivers, and on the authors’ participant observation as Uber drivers and passengers in the third largest Brazilian city, Belo Horizonte. Findings – Empirical evidence shows that becoming an Uber driver is more a matter of solving unemployment on a more permanent way rather than a search for a temporary and flexible work to supplement income. Although there are benefits related to flexibility, income and social interactions, negative externalities identified herein lead to the conclusion that the overall work relations and conditions are negative. Originality/value – Much in the literature of the SE is focused on understanding consumer behavior; this research, on the contrary, is focused on understanding producers, which indicates an incipient perspective. The contributions of this paper show that the SE merges into different distributive decentralized means of production that are seeing as profit/income generated from shareable assets.