Handbook of the Sharing Economy
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Handbook of the Sharing Economy

Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi

With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
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Chapter 19: Should Europe regulate labor platforms in the sharing economy?

Adrian J. Hawley


“Sharing” is a misnomer when referring to activities frequently encountered in the collaborative economy. Where physical work is performed, platforms are accused of exploitation of vulnerable groups disadvantaged by recession and austerity; to whom, however, they also offer a lifeline. The rhetoric of “Social Europe” has too often been displaced by economic imperatives of growth and competitiveness. An opportunity may now be emerging for a more caring form of collaborative exchange in the field of labor responding to the “soft power” of the European Commission and to the self-interest of the platforms themselves.

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