Platform, Anonymity, and Illegal Actors: Evidence of Whac-a-Mole Enforcement from Airbnb

44 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2018 Last revised: 8 Apr 2020

See all articles by Jian Jia

Jian Jia

Illinois Institute of Technology - Stuart School of Business

Liad Wagman

Illinois Institute of Technology - Stuart School of Business, IIT

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 27, 2019

Abstract

Airbnb, a prominent sharing-economy platform, offers dwellings for short-term rent. Despite restrictions, some sellers illegally offer their accommodations, taking advantage of a degree of anonymity proffered by the platform to hide from potential enforcement. We study the extent to which enforcement works in Manhattan, one of the most active short-term rental markets, by testing the effects of two recent enforcement events. We find a negative effect on the number of entire-home listings in Manhattan and positive effects on the prices and occupancies of remaining listings following each enforcement event, suggesting that some illegal listings are withdrawn from the market. We demonstrate evidence suggesting that a portion of withdrawn listings re-enter the market under the less-enforced listing category of private rooms.

Keywords: Enforcement; anonymity; short-term rentals; platform; illegal supply

JEL Classification: K42; L51; R52

Suggested Citation

Jia, Jian and Wagman, Liad, Platform, Anonymity, and Illegal Actors: Evidence of Whac-a-Mole Enforcement from Airbnb (December 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3094411 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3094411

Jian Jia

Illinois Institute of Technology - Stuart School of Business ( email )

Stuart Graduate School of Business
565 W. Adams St. 4th floor
Chicago, IL 60661
United States

Liad Wagman (Contact Author)

Illinois Institute of Technology - Stuart School of Business, IIT ( email )

565 W Adams St Suite 412
Chicago, IL 60661
United States
7739809883 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://lwagman.org

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