The Role of the Federal Government in Regulating the Sharing Economy
in: Cambridge Handbook on the Law of the Sharing Economy (Nestor Davidson, Michèle Finck, and John Infranca, eds., Cambridge Univ. Press) (2018, Forthcoming)
14 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 3, 2017
The sharing economy - also known as the "platform" economy - has captured the attention of scholars, policymakers, and the public, who are grappling with how existing regulatory structures fit these new forms of business organization. Before one gets to the question of what substantive law to apply to these platforms, the federalism question arises, namely: who gets to decide.
This Chapter explores the federalism implications of the rise of the platform economy. It argues that while much scholarship focuses on the role of local government in regulating these new platforms, the federal government should play a leading role in three domains:
(1) enforcement of national anti-discrimination laws;
(2) consumer protection, including with respect to data privacy and information asymmetries; and
(3) coordination of local policy experimentation with diffusion of policy successes.
Keywords: sharing economy, platform economy, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, federalism, anti-discrimination, consumer protection
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