This Article posits ten first principles on which a regulatory response to the sharing economy must rest. Given the rapid diversification of products in the sharing economy, this Article gives particular focus to the short-term rental market, typified by Airbnb, as one lens through which to illustrate these principles. This Article then turns to review existing regulatory responses to the sharing economy. Here again, the Article focuses on regulations related to the short-term rental market with a particular emphasis on the two strictest, existing local government regulatory structures: those of San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. This Article next proposes a response beyond such traditional regulatory strategies that are not well suited to regulating the sharing economy. Instead, this Article proposes a markets-based mechanism, transferable sharing rights, which is better suited to internalize externalities in the short-term rental market. Finally, this Article examines the corporatization of the sharing movement and the implications for regulations as sharing evolves from a peer-to-peer enterprise to a place where established market participants seek to assert themselves in the sharing economy’s new domains.
53 Harv. J. on Legis. 147 (2016)