Nordic labour markets and the sharing economy
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Nordic labour markets and the sharing economy

Report from a pilot project

This report presents a preliminary knowledge status about implications of the sharing economy for labour markets and employment relations in the Nordic countries. It also reviews how the Nordic countries and their social partners approach the sharing economy and issues relating, amongst other, to its legality, regulation, taxation, and terms of competition. There is so far scant supply of statistics, data and research in this field. The employment potentials and consequences of the sharing economy will, amongst other, depend on the governments’ and the organized actors’ responses to these challenges. Currently, all the actors seem to be in a phase of knowledge gathering and deliberation of possible policy options, cautiously avoiding taking steps that might obstruct the development of the sharing economy.

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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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Airbnb connects homeowners with people that want a place to stay. Uber lets you hail a ride from drivers in their personal vehicles. These companies operate on a global scale and are well-known examples of the so-called “sharing economy”, whereby app-based platform companies match demanders and suppliers of work and resources. The activities discussed under the heading of the sharing economy covers a wide range of activities, from exchange of goods, rental of cars and accommodation to direct exchange of labour. While much attention has been paid to platforms facilitating rental of assets such as apartments and cars, this report mainly focuses on platforms engaged in intermediation of labour. Platforms involving labour raise questions about how the sharing economy will affect work and the labour market, and the expectations are diverse. The optimistic view is that it will create more jobs, improve matching between suppliers and demanders of work, and give many workers more flexibility and control over when and where they work. The more negative expectation is that it will undermine traditional notions of employee-employer relations, tilt power in disfavor of workers, and lead to more uncertainty, inequality, and poorer working conditions.