Scoping the Sharing Economy: Origins, Definitions, Impact and Regulatory Issues

Authors: Cristiano Codagnone and Bertin Martens
Date Published: January 2016
Research Commissioned by Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Why did we select this research?

The paper provides a critical overview of key analytical, empirical, and normative dimensions of the sharing economy. It reviews both the rhetorical and controversial debates currently surrounding the topics and the available empirical evidence in order to sharpen our understanding of relevant policy and regulatory issues. Additionally, the paper provides evidence-based scientific support to the (European) policy-making process.

Key findings:

The regulatory debate and policy response to the challenges posed by some sharing economy platforms is very fragmented in the EU. Taxi and hotel sector regulation is mostly the competence of city councils, and cities respond in various ways. Labour market and social security regulation is mostly a state competence, handled differently in Member States. At a higher level, the EU may want to consider consumer protection and other liability issues. However, the literature that we have reviewed in this paper does not yet help policy makers decide whether or how to respond to these regulatory challenges.


Codagnone, C., & Martens, B. (2016). Scoping the sharing economy: Origins, definitions, impact and regulatory issues.