A Closer Look

The Sharing Economy – The gains are captured primarily by people below median income

What does your research show about the potential benefits – as well as potential downsides – of these new ways of making money?

In some of my own work, I take a stab at quantifying impact by imagining an economy in which, in addition toSharing Economy buying new and used products, consumers can rent from each other through a peer-to-peer market. The main projections from my analysis (using data from Getaround) are that an economy grows as it transitions into being more sharing-oriented even as ownership drops, and the gains are captured primarily by people below median income. Thus, over time, the sharing economy has an equalizing effect.

A key potential downside is the loss of the social safety net – the insurance, income stability, paid vacations and other fringe benefits that are critical to the well-being of workers. My work suggests that inventing a new funding model is at the heart of the solution. Nobody disputes that we need to protect workers. But the old funding model – the employer funds benefits in exchange for a commitment of full-time work – doesn’t transition well to the sharing economy. We need a new individual-platform-government partnership model.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Q&A: The impact and evolution of the sharing economy | Pew Research Center


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