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.

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


Mob: 070 779 0734

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se