- Series: MIT Press
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (May 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780262034579
- ISBN-13: 978-0262034579
- ASIN: 0262034573
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism (MIT Press)
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Information technology is disrupting a host of industries including transportation, hotels, banks, and marketplaces. The very nature of work is changing. Sundararajan offers an insightful guide to the forces shaping our economy today―and tomorrow.(Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google)
Fortunes have already been made in the sharing economy, yet the biggest impact on business and our daily lives is yet to come. There's no better guide to this transformation than Arun Sundararajan's book.(Erik Brynjolfsson, co-author of The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies)
Sundararajan has taken all the loose talk about the sharing economy and given it a rigorous and readable treatment. He makes it clear that there is no one model for these new economic forms, but that taken together, they represent a profound shift in how we think about everything from utility to capital to labor to employment.(Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody)
So all in all, a very interesting book by one the most knowledgeable researchers on the sharing economy. Well worth a read.(The Enlightened Economist)
Sundararajan knows his stuff. He's an award winning scholar who writes with a clarity that masks the compleity of his subject.(Finance and Development)
In his new book, Arun Sundararajan paints a rosy picture of the revolutionary companies and platforms that are altering the nature of work.(Strategy + Business)
Sundararajan...sees enough value in the sharing economy.(TED)
His case for optimism in his new book is compelling in large part because it comes from a business-school wonk and not a 'sharing!' proselytizer devoted to the literal meaning of the word.(The Washington Post)
About the Author
Arun Sundararajan is a Professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. A recognized authority on the sharing economy, he has published op-eds and commentary in such publications as Time, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Wired, Le Monde, Harvard Business Review, and the Financial Times.
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Arun Sundararajan, a professor who is an expert on the Sharing Economy, opens up by drawing from personal experience to motivate the questions that this book seeks to answer. I find his proposed “Crowd-based Capitalism” term to be a much more accurate and clear description of this economic model, but (as he does) I’ll be referring to it by the more popular Sharing Economy denomination.
The first part of the book masterfully lays out foundations that should greatly benefit anyone attempting to delve into the Sharing Economy. The journey begins with the important lessons that the evolution of Sharing Economy thinking has taught us. Sundararajan then proceeds to uncover the factors that enabled the proliferation of these platforms, centering on digital technologies and on socioeconomic drivers such us the emergence of large urban centers - cities are, after all, Sharing Economies in and of themselves. A very intuitive framework is then constructed, that allows us to treat Sharing Economy platforms as structures spanning the spectrum between hands-off marketplaces and the traditional firm hierarchy. This part concludes by giving as a sneak-peek at a fast-approaching future, where blockchain technologies promise to further empower Sharing Economy platforms and even transfer a larger share of power into the hands of the people. It is not possible to overstate the importance of the first part to anyone who wants a firm grasp of the drivers of the Sharing Economy, as well as to those who have to predict whether such platforms are likely to succeed or fail.
The second part is devoted to studying the impact that the Sharing Economy has been shown to have on the economy and the workforce. The excellent discussion of regulatory issues is one of my favorite parts of the book; Sundararajan carefully examines why current regulation can be ill-suited and might stifle innovation in Sharing Economy platforms and hinder economic growth. He then provides well-thought and innovative suggestions towards a better regulatory framework which highlight the need for worker protections and rights. I found these suggestions not only particularly interesting, but also potentially applicable outside the Sharing Economy context.
I could go on for much longer, but I will stop the spoilers here. It should be clear from the above that this is not another hagiographic book touting the latest fad. Instead, Sundararajan provides us with a concise, deep, and multidimensional study of the Sharing Economy, pointing out both the tremendous potential benefits and perils. The arguments he makes are careful and detailed, always grounded on academic research and made clear through numerous examples.
Among the strongest points of this book is that it does not only impart deep knowledge about the inner workings of this new economic system, but will also unavoidably kindle your enthusiasm for the future that the Sharing Economy promises. Sundararajan is an affable optimist, and makes an important case why we should join him.
The author draws richly on previous literatures and provides a plethora of examples both illustratively and to make his case. Overall, the book is a highly synthetic treatment of the sharing economy. Sundarajan not only contributes significantly to moving the conversation further along, he also raises many questions that are likely to become central in the near future. While it is written by an academic, the book is accessibly to non-technical audiences.