Should Congress be Caring About Sharing?

Date: December 8, 2014

Companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are high profile examples of the so-called sharing economy, in which ordinary people use online platforms to rent (rather than sell) products and services to each other. Also known as collaborative consumption, or peer to peer commerce, this new way of doing business uses the Internet to connect individual sellers and consumers, and is changing the economy in many ways.

Despite the successes of sharing economy pioneers, there is a growing backlash about circumvention of regulations and community standards, and displacement of workers – such as taxi drivers – in established industries. These debates are important because we might only be in the early stages of the sharing economy. In the future, a large number of industries could be disrupted by these new business models.


  • Arun Sundararajan, New York University Stern School of Business
  • Adam Thierer, Mercatus Research Center at George Mason University
  • Alex Howard, E Pluribus Unum (moderator)
  • David Hantman, Airbnb
  • John Breyault, National Consumers League