On Sharing and Quasi-Sharing: The Tension between Sharing-Economy Practices, Public Policy and Regulation

In: "The Sharing Economy: Possibilities, Challenges, and the Way Forward" (2017) (Forthcoming)

University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper 2851202

49 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2016

See all articles by Sofia Ranchordas

Sofia Ranchordas

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 11, 2016

Abstract

This paper offers a critical and comparative overview of the main regulatory and policy challenges faced by regulators in the context of the sharing economy. The regulation of the sharing economy has been particularly challenging as regulators are being asked to balance the interests protected by longstanding regulations with the benefits of sharing economy platforms, their intrinsic laws and ‘codes,’ as well as the informal rules of an economic system originally based on collaboration rather than on profit-making.

In a nutshell, this paper discusses the need to rethink local private transportation and zoning regulations, landlord-tenant law, labor law, competition law, and the liability of digital platforms as information society services in light of new developments in the sharing economy. This chapter also addresses the public policy challenges of the sharing economy, in particular the need to define limits for excessive sharing. I argue that future regulatory steps should be inspired by the distinction between sharing and quasi-sharing practices, that is, initiatives that are truly collaborative should benefit from regulatory exemptions and ‘light licensing’. On the contrary, practices that may or may not promote the sustainable sharing of goods such as occasional ‘car-pooling’ (e.g., UberPool) should be regulated according to their sharing potential or as business-to-consumer platforms.

Keywords: sharing economy, Uber, regulation, digital platforms, public policy, regulation, zoning, Airbnb, authorization schemes

JEL Classification: K20, K23

Suggested Citation

Ranchordas, Sofia, On Sharing and Quasi-Sharing: The Tension between Sharing-Economy Practices, Public Policy and Regulation (October 11, 2016). In: "The Sharing Economy: Possibilities, Challenges, and the Way Forward" (2017) (Forthcoming); University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper 2851202. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851202 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2851202

Sofia Ranchordas (Contact Author)

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law ( email )

Oude Kijk in 't Straat
Harmoniecomplex
9700 AS Groningen, Gn 9712
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rug.nl/staff/s.h.ranchordas/

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