Sharing isn’t new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club—these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new, in the “sharing economy,” is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money.
“Fortunes have already been made in the sharing economy, yet the biggest impact on business and our daily lives is yet to come. There's no better guide to this transformation than Arun Sundararajan's book.”
—Erik Brynjolfsson, co-author of The Second Machine Age
In this book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, explains the transition to what he describes as “crowd-based capitalism”—a new way of organizing economic activity that may supplant the traditional corporate-centered model. As peer-to-peer commercial exchange blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, how will the economy, government regulation, what it means to have a job, and our social fabric be affected?
“Sharing economy expert and New York University Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan tackles the myriad issues these developments have spawned in his path-breaking book.”
—International Monetary Fund
Drawing on extensive research and numerous real-world examples—including Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Etsy, Handy, Upwork, France’s BlaBlaCar, China’s Didi Chuxing, and India’s Ola, Sundararajan explains the basics of crowd-based capitalism.
“Sundararajan has taken all the loose talk about the sharing economy and given it a rigorous and readable treatment.”
—Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody
He describes the intriguing mix of “gift” and “market” in its transactions, demystifies emerging blockchain technologies, and clarifies the dizzying array of emerging on-demand platforms. He considers how this new paradigm changes economic growth and the future of work.
“The very nature of work is changing. Sundararajan offers an insightful guide to the forces shaping our economy today—and tomorrow.”
—Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google
Will we live in a world of empowered entrepreneurs who enjoy professional flexibility and independence? Or will we become disenfranchised digital laborers scurrying between platforms in search of the next wedge of piecework? Sundararajan highlights the important policy choices and suggests possible new directions for self-regulatory organizations, labor law, and funding our social safety net.