Regulation serves to protect consumers while ensuring economic growth. However, Koopman, Mitchell and Thierer argue that, with the rise of the Sharing Economy, current regulatory frameworks have undermined these goals.

In their paper, Koopman et al. discuss the key issues surrounding regulation in the Sharing Economy. They propose that, under the guise of ‘public interest’, ineffective, outdated, and even harmful regulations have persisted at the cost of greater innovation and consumer welfare. This has led to a number of undesirable consequences, including regulatory capture, higher prices and fewer choices, and unnecessary restrictions on innovative solutions.

Citing a range of historical cases, the authors argue that imposing yesterday’s regulatory regimes on today’s Sharing Economy platforms is unlikely to yield better results. Instead, given the growing number of options and availability of information online, the authors conclude that ‘deregulating down’ would level-the-playing-field and improve outcomes for consumers and business.