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EMAILED ON March 7, 2018 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

An MIT study concluded that Uber drivers make less than $4 an hour… Uber calls BS

According to a new paper by MIT, the average Uber driver makes less than $4 an hour, with 74% of drivers earning less than minimum wage.

The paper used third-party survey data collected from 1.1k drivers, and was almost immediately disputed by Uber’s in-house economist Jonathan Hall, who accused the authors of a “major error” in their methodology. 

Then Dara Khosrowshahi came in hot with a Twitter burn

The usually stoic Uber CEO also called out the institution, tweeting, “MIT= Mathematically Incompetent Theories…”

Boo, 2/10.

Hall argues that, due to unclear survey wording, respondents may have misreported how much time they spend working for ride-hailing services. A flaw he believes could skew the hourly rate MIT reported by nearly 60%.

And MIT is listening

Stephen Zoepf, the lead researcher on the project, has agreed to “revisit” the study based on Uber’s discrepancies, but asked something of the ride-hailing service in return:

  • “Help make an open, honest, and public assessment of the range of ride-hailing driver profit after the cost of acquiring, operating and maintaining a vehicle.”
  • “Transparently present the difference between actual and tax-reportable vehicle expenses used in the business.”
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