Economist- Pricing and Market Design

San Francisco | California | United States

Upwork ($UPWK) is the leading tech solution for companies looking to hire the best talent, maintain flexibility, and get more done. We’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Every year, more than $2 billion of work is done through Upwork by skilled professionals who want the freedom of working anytime, anywhere. Top companies connecting with extraordinary talent around the globe? Upwork is how.

Upwork is developing a pricing and market design function to own pricing strategy, price implementation, how users experience and interact with paid features, and how the market is designed to align customer incentives and outcomes. This team will make numerous high-consequence decisions about pricing and market design. We are hiring an Economist to ensure these decisions are informed by economic theory, industry best-practices and results from numerous true- and quasi-experiments. You will work as part of an interdisciplinary team in the Product and Customer Experience organization.


  • Develop a deep knowledge of the existing two-sided platform pricing literature, adapting the knowledge to the Upwork context.
  • Conduct analysis of Upwork experiments-—natural and planned-—that can be informative about long-run client and freelancer demand elasticities and that can inform pricing decisions.
  • Be involved in all decisions and analyses done by the team, applying an economic lens.
  • Build and maintain a model of the Upwork marketplace adapted to pricing questions that can be used to explore pricing counterfactuals
  • Identify market failures, conduct supporting analyses, and propose corrective actions, particularly those that can be remedied with pricing initiatives.
  • Run experimentation from end to end: test planning, test review, analysis and communication about experimental results.

How to catch our eye:

  • PhD in economics, public policy or a related field
  • Expertise in labor and personnel economics, and well-versed in causal inference and applied econometric methods.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to write clearly and explain economic and quantitative concepts in a non-technical manner.
  • Experience with SQL, R, and/or Python, and enthusiasm for developing advanced programming competencies.
  • Keen economic intuition, passion for detail, and a commitment to Upwork’s mission of creating economic and social opportunities through its marketplace

How to really knock our socks off:

  • Academic research on online labor markets / two-sided markets

Come change how the world works.

At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We’re a remote-first organization supported by offices in Santa Clara and Chicago, working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. 

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We build amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. Oh yeah, we’ve also got amazing benefits.

Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.  

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