Need a cab? Chances are you’ll click your Uber app rather than hail or call a dispatcher. Traveling? Airbnb has hundreds of listings across neighborhoods in almost any destination city. That new Ikea shelving system you bought just too hard to put together? TaskRabbit can have someone at your door almost instantly, Allen wrench cheerfully in hand. The “sharing economy” is radically transforming transportation, accommodations, personal services, and an array of other sectors. And this new economic model is growing by leaps and bounds. Legal scholars have begun to examine many aspects of this rapidly emerging phenomenon, but an intriguing dynamic remains underappreciated in the literature. Unlike for earlier generations of disruptive technology, the regulatory response to these new entrants has primarily been at the municipal level. Where AT&T, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and other earlier waves of technological innovation primarily faced federal (and international) regulatory scrutiny, sharing enterprises are being shaped by zoning codes, hotel licensing regimes, taxi medallion requirements, insurance mandates, and similar distinctly local legal issues.
Davidson, Nestor M. and Infranca, John J.
"The Sharing Economy as an Urban Phenomenon,"
Yale Law & Policy Review:
2, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol34/iss2/1