Social and Economic Impacts

As far as social transformation is concerned, we can state that the emergence of the collaborative economy as a result of (a) the use of technological platforms, (b) the use of information and (c) the establishment of horizontal reputation mechanisms alters some of the conditions in which the exchanges occur, thus generating economic impacts and effects on power relationships. In other words, it alters the traditional status quo, creating new opportunities that were not possible until now.

Like all other economic agents, the collaborative economy platforms have a series of positive social implications that in this case have special impact on wealth generation and social innovation. But, alongside the positive social implications describe above, we can also identify a series of negative social implications.

In order to provide a cathegorization of this positive and perverse effects of sharing economy, is possible to stablish the following.

Positive aspects:

  1. Reduction of consumption costs and increase of supply and quality of the service.
  2. Transparency, more trust in communities and less informational asymmetries. This also applies to public administrations in relation to taxes.
  3. Decentralization of supplies, work opportunities and exchange of services.
  4. Rationalization and use of underused goods and services.
  5. Ecological sustainability and transport rationalization. 
  6. Innovation, new ways of consuming and generation of supply according to demand.
  7. Opening of debates and questioning of the existence of entry barriers and hyperregulated markets.

Negative consecuences:

  1. Apparent lack of control due to a lack of administrative supervision
  2. Unfulfillment of fiscal obligations.
  3. Casualization of the labour market and “Gig economy”.
  4. Damages to traditional suppliers and social unrest.
  5. Inconveniences and risks associated with the lower quality of service and consumers’ lack of protection.
  6. Gentrification, increase of house prices and habitability crisis.

Once raised the terms of the debate, questions rise up: How to boost possitive aspects and control the negative consecuences? What sholud be the role of institutions? to liberate, to control, to regulate?