The Sharing Economy

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Leader’s Edge (Leadership)

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism

Arun Sundararajan. Publisher: MIT Press, 2016.

256 pages
ISBN: 978-0262034579
ASIN: B01BG90H9W

Summary

Anybody who has taken a ride on Uber, rented an Airbnb room or purchased a product from Etsy has participated in the sharing economy. Sundararajan explains the mechanics behind the sharing economy in part 1 of this book, focused on the Cause, and then details some ramifications and potential reactions to it in part 2, the Effects. The basic premise of the book is that technology advances have made it possible for items to be shared in a way that was not possible before. Cars are an obvious example (a large, expensive fixed asset that mostly sits unused) but the examples in the book show that it is affecting many aspects of society. Much of the text revolves around the changes to our workforce. What happens when many, many more people are independent contractors, working piecemeal jobs and are disconnected from institutions that have provided stability? How does regulation play into this new economic order? These are just a few of the questions that Sundararajan addresses.

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