The European Collaborative Economy: A research agenda for policy support

Abstract
Collaborative Economy became the buzzword used to refer to all kinds of online platform based business models in the recent years. Yet there is no consensus on a working definition for these platforms and robust evidence is lacking on their costs and benefits to society – a precondition for good policy. To foster a clear and balanced regulatory environment and provide regulatory guidance to Member States on EU law application, the European Commission recently published the ‘European Agenda for the Collaborative Economy’ where the importance of further research and the need for monitoring the collaborative economy to identify obstacles and problems were stressed. This paper at hand takes stock of the existing knowledge on the Collaborative Economy in order to suggest a forward looking agenda to strengthen the scientific evidence base for the development of policies that maximise the benefits and minimise the costs for all the stakeholders involved. It emphasises the need for developing a clear, commonly agreed conceptualisation of the collaborative economy that would allow for better tailored policy interventions to the various facets of the concept. It presents knowledge gaps and research proposals, notably on the monitoring metrics and indicators; the online trust mechanisms and impact of digital labour market platforms on labour markets and social security systems.

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