Working Paper Series
Does Country Level Social Trust Predict the Size of the Sharing Economy?
() and Alexander Funcke
Abstract: The sharing economy (peer-to-peer based sharing or renting
activities coordinated through community-based online services) is
typically assumed to be closely related to social trust. The two sharing
economy companies Airbnb and Flipkey exist in over 100 countries, allowing
us to construct a measure of sharing economy penetration to test against
social trust and other potential explanations. Results indicate that
sharing economy penetration is promoted by ICT-infrastructure and economic
openness, whereas the correlation with social trust is negative and often
statistically significant. Our conclusion is that sharing economy services
do not require high levels of social trust to succeed. Rather, they provide
institutions that facilitate trust-intensive economic activities also where
social trust is low.
Keywords: Sharing economy; Trust; Information technology; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: E20; M13; O17; (follow links to similar papers)
10 pages, August 19, 2016
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