Efficiencies and Regulatory Shortcuts: How Should We Regulate Companies like Airbnb and Uber?

33 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2015 Last revised: 14 Jun 2017

Benjamin G. Edelman

Harvard University - HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

Damien Geradin

Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC); University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: November 24, 2015

Abstract

New software platforms use modern information technology, including full-featured web sites and mobile apps, to allow service providers and consumers to transact with relative ease and increased trust. These platforms provide notable benefits including reducing transaction costs, improving allocation of resources, and information and pricing efficiencies. Yet they also raise questions of regulation, including how regulation should adapt to new services and capabilities, and how to correct market failures that may arise. We explore these challenges and suggest an updated regulatory framework that is sufficiently flexible to allow software platforms to operate and deliver their benefits, while ensuring that service providers, users and third parties are adequately protected from harms that may arise.

Keywords: platforms; regulation; sharing economy; Uber; Airbnb; universal service; Insurance

Suggested Citation

Edelman, Benjamin G. and Geradin, Damien, Efficiencies and Regulatory Shortcuts: How Should We Regulate Companies like Airbnb and Uber? (November 24, 2015). Stanford Technology Law Review, Forthcoming; Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 16-026. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2658603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2658603

Benjamin G. Edelman (Contact Author)

Harvard University - HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.hbs.edu/bedelman

Damien Geradin

Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC)

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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