Photo: SkyPics Studio/Shutterstock Data on the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb and so on) are scarce, but a recent study estimates that the revenue growth of these platforms has been dramatic. In the European Union (EU), the total revenue from the shared economy increased from around 1 billion euros in 2013 to 3.6 billion euros in 2015. While this estimate may equal just 0.2% of EU GDP, recent trends indicate a continued, rapid expansion. This is important, as the sharing economy has the potential to bring efficiency gains and improve the welfare of many individuals in the region. This can also generate important disruptions. While online platforms represent a small fraction of overall incomes, the share of individuals participating in these platforms is large in many European countries. For example, roughly 1 in 3 people in France and Ireland have used a sharing economy platform, while at least 1 in 10 have in Central and Northern Europe (see figure below). At the same time, the share of the population that has used these platforms to offer services and earn an income is also significant, reaching 10% or more in France, Latvia, and Croatia. This means that at least one out of every ten adults in these countries worked as a driver for a ride-sharing platform such as Uber, rented out a room of his or her house using a peer-to-peer rental platform such as Airbnb, or provided ICT services through an online freelancing platform such as Upwork, to name a few examples. [Read More]
Summary… * Machine-Made
Data on the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb and so on) are scarce, but a recent study estimates that the revenue growth of these platforms has been dramatic.
In the European Union (EU), the total revenue from the shared economy increased from around 1 billion euros in 2013 to 3.6 billion euros in 2015.
Moreover, the system of ratings and reviews helps lower information asymmetries by creating a mechanism to penalize bad performers and to reward good ones.Evidence on the impact of the sharing economy on economic outcomes is still scarce.
In Europe, there are important gender, age, and skill gaps in the sharing economy.
For example, while only about 10% of unskilled individuals have used sharing economy platforms, 27% of their skilled counterparts have done so.Third, as is the case with international trade and general technological change, the sharing economy creates adjustment costs, especially for displaced workers who do not have the skills to find a new job or who made significant investments in their previous occupation such as taxi drivers.Do these risks outweigh the benefits of the sharing economy?