This week we’re talking about Uber, Airbnb, and other business models that are based on “sharing” human and physical resources, often using information technology to facilitate these transactions. In other words, the sharing economy.
How do these new business models work? Are they even all that new?
Are consumer feedback systems effectively replacing the quality-control mechanisms that are ostensibly the reason for government regulation in these markets? Asked another way, how safe are these services without government licensing and regulatory oversight?
What effect have these new business models had on traditionally regulated services like taxicabs and hotels?
Why do libertarians seem to like the sharing economy so much?