2020

Social Trust and Sharing Economy Size: Country Level Evidence from Home Sharing Services

Reprint No. 2020:73

Author(s): Andreas Bergh and Alexander FunckeYear: 2020 Title: Applied Economics Letters Volume (No.): 27 (19) Pages: 1592–1595
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version


The sharing economy (peer-to-peer based sharing or renting activities coordinated through community-based online services) is often said to be closely related to trust. This paper examines the association empirically. Using data collected from the two sharing economy companies Airbnb and Flipkey that exist in over 100 countries, we construct a measure of sharing economy penetration and examine its correlation with social trust and other potential explanations. Sharing economy penetration is promoted by ICT-infrastructure and economic openness. Conditional on ICT-infrastructure, countries with higher social trust have significantly lower sharing economy penetration. 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.


Reference:
Bergh, Andreas and Alexander Funcke (2020), "Social Trust and Sharing Economy Size: Country Level Evidence from Home Sharing Services". Applied Economics Letters 27(19), 1592–1595.

Andreas Bergh

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