The promise of the sharing economy

When the “sharing economy” launched a decade ago, proponents claimed that it would transform the experience of work—giving earners flexibility, autonomy, and a decent income. But this novel form of work soon sprouted a dark side: exploited ride-share drivers, neighborhoods ruined by Airbnb, racial discrimination, and rising carbon emissions. In her new book, After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back (University of California Press, 2020), Boston College Professor of Sociology Juliet Schor dives into what went wrong with this contemporary reimagining of labor. Schor contends that the basic model—a peer-to-peer structure augmented by digital tech—holds the potential to meet its original promises. Based on nearly a decade of pioneering research, After the Gig presents a compelling argument that through regulatory reforms and cooperative platforms owned and controlled by users, an equitable and truly shared economy is still possible. Schor is the bestselling author of The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline Of Leisure, The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, And The New Consumer, and True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans Are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy, among other titles. She spoke about After the Gig on Marketplace Morning Report

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