We regularly share stories on how home sharing is a financial lifeline for countless families living in some of the greatest – but most expensive – cities in the world. Not only is it helping them to afford rising living costs, it is helping them to stay in their homes and the cities they love.
Today, we are highlighting data from independent research that says that the sharing economy has a particularly positive effect on people with lower incomes.
The research, which was conducted by New York University professor Arun Sundararajan and research scientist Samuel Fraiberger, assessed data from peer-to-peer car rental website Getaround and looked at trends they believe to apply across the sharing economy. They highlighted three different areas where they believe the sharing economy benefits low income families:
Greater inclusion – those who cannot afford to own their own assets can now afford to access these through peer-to-peer marketplaces.
More benefits, lower costs – Some move from being owners to being non-owner renters, realizing ownership cost savings, gains from greater usage efficiency and higher quality consumption.
Facilitating ownership – In some cases, it makes sense for families to own a particular good, but high costs put ownership out of reach. Thanks to the sharing economy, some lower income consumers are able to purchase goods with the income they can earn through peer-to-peer marketplaces.
The report concludes that:
“…peer-to-peer rental marketplaces have a disproportionately positive effect on lower-income consumers across almost every measure. This segment is more likely to switch from owning to renting, provides a higher level of peer-to-peer marketplace demand, is more likely to contribute to marketplace supply, and enjoys significantly higher levels of surplus gains. We highlight this finding because it speaks to what may eventually be the true promise of the sharing economy, as a force that democratizes access to a higher standard of living.”
Sundararajan and Fraiberger close their report by saying: “Our hope is that our economic findings will inform policy makers as they formulate appropriate regulatory policy for this increasingly important part of the economy.”
We agree – and are pleased that more and more cities across the world are implementing progressive laws that support home sharing and the sharing economy. We look forward to working with everyone on fair rules for home sharing that support regular, local people.