“We’re going to have to invent new economics to capture the impact of the sharing economy,” says Arun Sundararajan, a professor at the Stern School of Business at NYU who studies this phenomenon. The largest question for academics is whether this all creates new value or just replaces existing businesses. The answer is surely both. It’s classic creative destruction.
a basic search on Airbnb.com for New York City lodging demonstrates that more than half of the available bookings on the popular vacation rental website are likely illegal according to New York State law. Hosts of these units are subject to fines ranging from $1,000 for a first offense to $20,000 for repeated violations, according to a New York City Council bill passed in October.
For urbanists, the rise of the sharing economy is gratifying. These sharing services are extensions of our community. They require a belief in the commons (i.e., public space, public education, health and the infrastructure that allows our society to function), which cities foster, and they are amplified by the kind of physical proximity that only exists in cities. Metrics increasingly reveal that sharing economy businesses tend to generate greater economic benefits and reinvestment in the community. Studies have shown, for example, that for every reduction of 15,000 owned cars, a city keeps $127 million in the local economy as people are able to get what they need within a smaller geographic area.
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