Scoping the sharing economy: Origins, definitions, impact and regulatory issues

This report provides a critical overview of key analytical, empirical, and normative dimensions of the ‘sharing economy’. The broad umbrella term 'sharing economy' is critically assessed and a typology developed that identifies the commercial 'peer to peer' sharing economy as the main focus of both controversies and policy-relevant issues. Empirical evidence of the benefits and costs of the sharing economy and its implications for sustainability and employment is very limited and inconclusive, particularly as regards the European landscape. This critical review, hence, shows that, as yet, there are no unambiguous answers to some of the fundamental questions about the ‘sharing economy’. The available research is too limited and patchy to give us a comprehensive and coherent picture. This report’s main contribution is to clear some of the conceptual and empirical fog around the ‘sharing economy’ and to identify where possible answers might be found in the future.

Codagnone, C. and Martens, B. (2016), Scoping the sharing economy: Origins, definitions, impact and regulatory Issues, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Digital Economy Working Paper 2016/01, JRC (Joint Research Centre), Seville, Spain.


  • Research publication
  • EU28
  • Yes
  • no specific sector focus
  • challenges
  • English
  • JRC (Joint Research Centre) (Research institute)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2016
  • Open access
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