Regulating (and Self-regulating) the Sharing Economy in Europe: An Overview

  • Guido Smorto
Part of the Research for Development book series (REDE)


The article describes the main legal challenges for regulating the sharing (or collaborative) economy in Europe and explains how the existing body of EU law applies to these new business models. In the last part, it makes a few brief comments on the need for future regulation.


  1. Bennett Moses, L. (2013). How to think about law, regulation and technology: Problems with technology as a regulatory target. Law, Innovation and Technology, 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernstein, L. (2001). Private commercial law in the cotton industry: Creating cooperation through rules. Norms and institutions. Michigan Law Review, 99, 1724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bolton, G., Greiner, B., & Ockenfels, A. (2013). Engineering trust. Reciprocity in the production of reputation information. Management Science, 59, 265.Google Scholar
  4. Botsman, R. (2014). Why the law won’t stop uber.
  5. Brownsword, R., & Somsen, H. (2009). Law, innovation and technology: Before we fast forward–A forum for debate. Law, Innovation and Technology, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Busch, C., Schultze-Nölke, H., Wiewiòrowska-Domagalska, A., & Zoll, F. (2016). The rise of the platform economy: A new challenge for EU consumer law? Journal of European Consumer and Market law, 1, 3.Google Scholar
  7. Caillaud, B., & Jullien, B. (2003). Chicken & egg: Competition among intermediation service providers. RAND Journal of Economics, 24, 309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cherry M. A., & Aloisi, A. (2017). Dependent contractors in the gig economy: A comparative approach. American University Law Review, 66, 3.
  9. Cohen, M., & Sundararajan, A. (2015). Self-regulation and innovation in the peer-to-peer sharing economy. University of Chicago Law Review Dialogue, 82, 116.Google Scholar
  10. Dellarocas, C., & Narayan, R. (2006). A statistical measure of a population’s propensity to engage in post-purchase online word-of-mouth. Statistical Science, 21, 277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dellarocas, C., & Wood, C. A. (2008). The sound of silence in online feedback: Estimating trading risks in the presence of reporting bias. Management Science, 54, 460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Stefano, V. (2016). The rise of the just-in-time workforce: On-demand work, crowd work and labour protection in the gig-economy, Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, 37, 3.
  13. Dillahunt, T. R., & Malone, A. R. (2015). The promise of the sharing economy among disadvantaged communities. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (p. 2285).
  14. Edelman, B., & Luca, M. (2014). Digital discrimination: The case of Harvard Business School Working Paper 14-054.Google Scholar
  15. Evans, D. (2003). The antitrust economics of multi-sided platform markets. Yale Journal on Regulation, 20, 325.Google Scholar
  16. Farmer, R. (2011). Web Reputation System and the Real World. In H. Masum & M. Tovey (Eds.), The reputation society. How online opinions are reshaping the offline world. Cambridge-MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  17. Farmer, R., & Glass, B. (2010). Building web reputation systems. O’Reilly Media.Google Scholar
  18. Fraiberger, S., & Sundararajan, A. (2015). Peer-to-peer rental market in the sharing economy. NYU Stern School of Business Research Paper.
  19. Gillette, C. P. (2001). Reputation and intermediaries in electronic commerce. Louisiana Law Review, 62, 1165.Google Scholar
  20. Goldman, E. (2011). Regulating reputation. In H. Masum & M. Tovey (Eds.), The reputation society. How online opinions are reshaping the offline world. Cambridge-MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hadfield, G. (2008). Legal barriers to innovation: The growing economic cost of professional control over corporate legal markets. Stanford Law Review, 60 102.Google Scholar
  22. Koopman, C., Mitchell, M. D., & Thierer, A. D. (2015). The sharing economy and consumer protection regulation: The case for policy change. The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law, 8(2).Google Scholar
  23. Kornhauser L A (1983), Reliance, Reputation, and Breach of Contract. 26 J. L. & Econ. 691.Google Scholar
  24. Krueger, A. (1974). The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society. 64. American Economic Review, 291, 303.Google Scholar
  25. Lougher, G., & Kalmanowicz, S. (2015), EU Competition Law in the Sharing Economy. Journal of European Competition Law & Practice 2.Google Scholar
  26. Olson Jr, M. (1965). The logic of collective action: public goods and the theory of groups. Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  27. Macaulay S (1963), Non-Contractual Relations in Business. 20 Am. Soc. Rev. 85.Google Scholar
  28. Moorhouse, J. C. (2003). Consumer Protection Regulation and Information on the Internet. In F. E. Foldvary & D. B. Klein (Eds.), The half-life of policy rationales: How new technology affects old policy issues. New York: New York UP.Google Scholar
  29. Možina, D. (2016). Retail business, platform services and information duties. Journal of European Consumer and Market law, 1, 25.Google Scholar
  30. North, D., Weingast, B. (1990). The role of institutions in the revival of trade: The medieval law merchant. Economics and Politics, 2, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pasquale, F. A. (2007). Rankings, reductionism, and responsibility. Cleveland State Law Review, 54, 115.Google Scholar
  32. Pasquale, F. A. (2008). Asterisk revisited: debating a right of reply on search result. Journal of Business and Technology Law, 3, 61.Google Scholar
  33. Peltzman, S. (1976). Toward a more general theory of regulation. Journal of Law and Economics, 19, 211.Google Scholar
  34. Podszun, R., & Kreifels, S. (2016). Digital platforms and competition law. Journal of European Consumer and Market Law, 1, 33.Google Scholar
  35. Reich, R. B. (2015). The share-the-scraps economy.
  36. Resnick, P., & Zeckhauser, R. (2002). Trust among strangers in internet transactions: Empirical analysis of ebay’s reputation system. The Economics of Internet and E-Commerce, 11, 127.Google Scholar
  37. Rochet, J. C., & Tirole, J. (2003). Platform competition in two-sided markets. Journal of European Economic Association, 1, 990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rosenberg, T. (2011). Join the club. How peer pressure can transform the world. New York: WW Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  39. Salganick, M. J., Dodds, P. S., & Watts, D. J. (2006). Experimental study of inequality and unpredictability in an artificial market. Science, 311, 854.Google Scholar
  40. Schoenbaum, N. (2016). Gender and the sharing economy. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 43, 1.Google Scholar
  41. Schor, J. B. (2017). Does the sharing economy increase inequality within the eighty percent?: Findings from a qualitative study of platform providers. Cambridge Journal of Regions, 10(2).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sénéchal, J. (2016). The diversity of the services provided by online platforms and the specificity of the counter-performance of these services. A double challenge for European and national contract law. Journal of European Consumer and Market Law, 1, 39.Google Scholar
  43. Slee, T. (2015). Some obvious things about internet reputation systems (2015).
  44. Smorto, G. (2016). The sharing economy as a means to urban commons. Comparative Law Review, 7, 1.Google Scholar
  45. Smorto, G. (2017). A critical assessment of European agenda for the collaborative economy. In Depth Analysis for the IMCo Committee. European Parliament.
  46. Smorto, G. (2018). Protecting the weaker parties in the platform economy. In: N. Davidson, M. Finck, & J. Infranca (Eds.), Cambridge handbook on law and regulation of the sharing economy, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  47. Steckbeck, M., & Boettke, P. J. (2003). Turning lemons into lemonade: entrepreneurial solutions in adverse selection problems in E-Commerce. In J. Birner (Ed.), Markets, information and communication: Austrian perspectives on the internet economy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Stigler, G. J. (1971). The theory of economic regulation. Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, 2, 3.Google Scholar
  49. Strahilevitz, L. J. (2008). Reputation nation: Law in an era of ubiquitous personal information. Northwestern University Law Review, 102, 1667.Google Scholar
  50. Sundararajan, A. (2016). The sharing economy. The end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism. Cambridge-MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tabarrok, A., & Cowen, T. (2015). The end of asymmetric information?, Cato Unbound. https://www.cato-unboundorg/2015/04/06/alex-tabarrok-tyler-cowen/end-asymmetric-information.
  52. Thierer, A. (2014). Permissionless innovation. The continuing case for comprehensive technological innovation. Mercatus Center.Google Scholar
  53. Thierer, A., Koopman, C., Hobson, A., & Kuiper, C. (2015a). How the internet, the sharing economy, and reputational feedback mechanisms solve the lemons problem. Mercatus Working Paper.
  54. Thierer, A., Koopman, C., Hobson, A., & Kuiper, C. (2015b). How the internet, the sharing economy, and reputational feedback mechanisms solve the lemons problem. Mercatus Working Paper.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations