Sofia Ranchordás, PhD, is a Resident Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. She is also Assistant Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law& at Tilburg Law School, in the Netherlands. In her scholarship she pleads for more regulatory flexibility and a broader use of temporary and evidence-based instruments (for example, experimental legislation) to address disconnects between law and innovation. She has published extensively on innovation and regulation, including a book on sunset clauses and experimental legislation, and the article “Innovation Experimentalism in the Age of Sharing Economy” (forthcoming in the Lewis & Clark Law Review, 2015) and “Does Sharing Mean Caring? The Regulation of Innovation in Sharing Economy” in the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology (2015), where she analyzes different collaborative practices and offers a framework for the regulation of sharing economy characterized by regulatory flexibility.

The “gig” or the “sharing economy” has been the subject of recent praise and criticism. While the first regulatory debates at federal level still seem to be in their infancy, a number of cities in the United States (for example, San Francisco) and abroad appear to be willing to intervene more actively in the regulation of this new form of collaboration. Although sharing economy platforms trigger common problems (e.g., privacy concerns, occupational licensing, consumer protection), cities have mixed sentiments regarding the different platforms. For example, while some cities are more flexible regarding ride sharing (e.g., Uber), they seem to be less eager to accept home sharing (e.g., Airbnb). In this paper, I distinguish between different sharing and collaborative practices. In addition, I inquire what role cities should play in the regulation of sharing economy platforms and examine how the development of sharing economy is shaping the role of cities as regulators.

(The paper was co-authored with Michèle Finck)

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