Vili Lehdonvirta

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Vili Lehdonvirta is Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.[1] He is also a senior research fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, an associate member of the Department of Sociology, Oxford and a former Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, London. Lehdonvirta is an economic sociologist, whose research draws on theories and approaches from economic sociology, new institutional economics, labour sociology, and science and technology studies. His research focuses on digital technologies—such as apps, platforms, and marketplaces—are governed, how they shape the organisation of economic activities, and the resulting implications for workers, consumers, businesses, and policy.


Lehdonvirta is the principal investigator of iLabour,[2] a major research project on online freelancing and the gig economy, funded by the European Research Council. He also leads research projects on online labour markets' effects in rural areas[3] and crowd workers'[4] skill development. His other recent research takes a critical look at Bitcoin[5] and blockchain.[6] His previous research on virtual goods, virtual consumption and digital games is summarised in 'Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis", co-authored with Edward Castronova, and published by MIT Press.[7]

Policy work[edit]

Lehdonvirta has advised companies, policy makers, and international organisations in Europe, the United States and Japan. He is a member of the European Commission's Expert Group on the Online Platform Economy, which supports the Commission in monitoring the evolution of the online platform economy for evidence-based and problem-focused policymaking[8] and the High-Level Group on Digital Transmission and EU Labour markets, which provides analysis and advice to the Commission, and explores policy options.


Lehdonvirta holds a PhD in Economic Sociology from the University of Turku (2009) and a MSc from the Helsinki University of Technology (2005). Previously he worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Tokyo, and the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. Before his academic career, he worked as a game programmer for Jippii Mobile Entertainment Oy.

Published works[edit]

Academic articles[edit]



  1. ^ "Professor Vili Lehdonvirta — Oxford Internet Institute". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  2. ^ "iLabour project".
  3. ^ "Labour markets' effects in rural areas".
  4. ^ "iLabour; crowdworkers' skill development".
  5. ^ Vidan, Gili; Lehdonvirta, Vili (2019). "Mine the gap: Bitcoin and the maintenance of trustlessness". New Media & Society. 21: 42–59. doi:10.1177/1461444818786220. S2CID 58008386.
  6. ^ "Blockchain blog".
  7. ^ Lehdonvirta, V and Castronova, E (2014). Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis. MIT Press.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ lucasge (2018-09-26). "Expert group to the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy". Digital Single Market - European Commission. Retrieved 2020-02-06.