European Perspectives on Power in the Sharing Economy
Report from the EU H2020 Research Project Ps2Share: Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy
This project aims to foster better awareness of the consequences which the sharing economy has on the way people behave, think, interact, and socialize across Europe. Our over-arching objective is to identify key challenges of the sharing economy and improve Europe’s digital services through providing recommendations to Europe’s institutions. We focus on topics of participation, privacy, and power in the sharing economy.
Within the survey and in the following report, we addressed various items towards four distinct sub-categories of Europeans: Consumers, Providers, Aware Non-Users, and Non-Aware Non-Users. To present a more fine-grained overview of the perceived power-dynamics, we also provide deeper insights into the results on a cross-country level, as well as analyzing demographic and platform differences.
The first section of the report focuses on the Peer-to-Peer Relationships which form the foundation of the sharing economy. Aspects covered in this section include emotional labor, perceived interpersonal treatment, and feedback systems. The second section of the report focuses on the Peer-to-Platform Relationships. This section addresses the role of the sharing platforms in establishing and maintaining power asymmetries, covering aspects such as dispute resolution mechanisms, terms and conditions, pricing, algorithmic control, and collective action. The final section provides a more macro-approach to power dynamics, focusing on the Platform-to-Society Relationships. This includes elements such as regulation and platform narratives.