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How to collaborate and share

A thesis discussed at the M. Fanno Department of Economics and Business Sciences at the University of Padua attempts to bring a sense of order to the theme of the sharing economy

 

Collaborating and sharing. These actions are important to us all, businesses included, particularly in such a complex period. It is an issue that is also relevant to the culture of production, which must often change along with the rules that we are all governed by. These are the concepts upon which the research carried out by Gabriele Principe are centred, in his thesis discussed at the M. Fanno Department of Economics and Business Sciences at the University of Padua.

More specifically, “Economia collaborativa al tempo del Coronavirus” (The sharing economy in the era of Coronavirus) is focused on “investigating the concept of the sharing economy within the framework of European legislation, in order to take a closer look at the issue of online contracts”; in addition to this, Principe also examines how “variation in the demand for particular goods and services is the result of a change in consumption habits and living conditions during the year of the pandemic.”

Accordingly, Principe begins by addressing the concept of the sharing economy in its various forms, as well as tasking himself with providing an analysis of the current set of rules that we use as a point of reference; he then goes on to consider a number of case studies, which put the theory of the sharing economy into practice in a number of different ways; the examples of Uber, Lif, Airbnb and Globe-inc appear in the pages of Gabriele Principe’s thesis.

The author writes in his conclusion: “Due to the exogenous shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sharing economy has been revealed to be extremely variable. Some sectors have enjoyed a significant increase in turnover, while others have suffered a slump in sales. It has not been possible to achieve the exponential growth expected in the past. At the same time, until a few decades ago, these economic platforms simply did not exist, but now, these are destined to advance and progress, growing and redefining themselves in line with the evolution of the global situation, which is now very uncertain. The pandemic has demonstrated that consumer perceptions of the sharing economy differ from those that they hold of the traditional economy, which explains why some sectors have been more affected than others. The confusing legislation which governs them certainly plays a role in this.”

Principe’s study presents a varied picture of a complex subject that is evolving constantly – certainly not one that can be easily predicted, and certainly not one devoid of problems that are yet to be resolved. The sharing economy in the era of Coronavirus thus serves as a useful tool for gaining a better understanding of what is happening around us.

Economia collaborativa al tempo del Coronavirus (The sharing economy in the era of Coronavirus)

Gabriele Principe

Thesis, University of Padua, M. Fanno Department of Economics and Business Sciences, Master’s in Economics and Management, 2020