SHINE - The sharing economy and the emergence of new forms of inequalities in Europe

The emergence of enhanced digital brokerage, due to increased computational power and the development of digital platforms aimed to offer new services not only to costumers, but also to service and product providers, has led to the apparition of new market niches and a whole new economy: the so-called sharing economy. After at least ten years of continuous development, we can consider that we have a complete and deep understanding of the fundamental dynamics of the sharing economy (also known as collaborative economy or digital platform economy). However, the regulatory challenges that result from these changes are yet to be successfully solved. At least, in three essential aspects (which are the SHINE Network main issues):− Neither the EU nor its Member States have managed, for the time being, to draw up a regulatory framework which is able to reconcile the efficiency gains brought by these new business models with the protection of European social values. In order to come up with an appropriate regulatory response it is vital to carry out exhaustive research on the different regulatory approaches that have been already been implemented, evaluating both their social and economic impact. Doing so from a European perspective is essential because a particular balance between social equality and economic efficiency in our societies is an essential part of European identity. − Given the impact big data, automated decision-making and computational power have on digital platform brokerage, these technologies must be closely examined, from an interdisciplinary perspective which assesses their role in enhancing digital processes as well as in generating possible situations of social inequality, addressing the regulatory choices in which these may result. − Finally, a rigorous and exhaustive evaluation of the impact on social fairness and inequalities of the regulatory policies applied to already consolidated sharing economy markets, such as transport or accommodation.