September 25, 2020
Tech Policy and the 2020 Election, Part 5 – The Sharing Economy
The growth of sharing economy platforms over the last decade has led to disputes between policymakers and innovators over regulatory and labor law. While state and local regulations typically affect these platforms the most, federal policies also impact this sector of the economy. In a new insight, AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston outlines how the policies of President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Biden could affect the sharing economy in the future.
When faced with questions about new apps and the sharing economy, the next administration should take a hands-off approach that looks to use existing laws to solve problems and even remove barriers that might prevent development, as this approach is likely to create further beneficial opportunities. Rather than seeking parity in a marketplace by regulating new entrants, such as scooters or home sharing, in the same way as traditional market participants, policymakers should use this disruption to reexamine if these regulations were ever needed and deregulate to allow more innovation from traditional players as well. The next administration should consider what message additional regulations may send to future innovators and entrepreneurs, including sharing economy platforms, as well as reexamine the existing regulations in disrupted industries. Avoiding overly restrictive AB5-style laws and encouraging further job/gig creation seems especially crucial as the country grapples with the COVID-19 recession.