The working paper presents an analysis of the challenges related to the societal entrenchment of peer-to-peer sharing practices – at the examples of apartment sharing and car sharing. Over the last few years both sharing practices experienced a highly dynamic development and further commercialization through the emergence of business models for the shared use of private assets facilitated through online platforms. This development occurred in cultural, regulatory, and economic contexts that provided drivers and barriers to the diffusion of apartment sharing and private car sharing practices. To describe the processes of societal entrenchment the paper draws conceptually on the multi-impulse model from innovation research. Therefore, influencing factors at the level of technology, civil society and regulation are at the center of the analysis of both cases.
The comparison of the two case studies reveals how different market and competitive dynamics, societal interactions and political interventions explain the differences in the degrees of diffusion of the considered sharing practices. Specific advantages in transaction costs and network effects characterize the platform-related market strategies and growth dynamics. With increasing market penetration, however, distortive effects and threat to public welfare caused by inadequate regulatory framing become more visible and, hence, raise pressure on political bodies to act. The authors conclude that a more sustainable societal entrenchment of peer-to-peer sharing can only be achieved through close co-operation between platform operators and policy-makers.
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