Chapter 11. Mapping the Impact: Assessment Methodologies and Policy Implications of the Collaborative and Sharing Economy

By Venere Stefania Sanna | Laura Michelini

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Published: 19 Oct 2021

© 2021 Venere Stefania Sanna | Laura Michelini


In this chapter the authors examine different methodologies for assessing the diverse impact of the Collaborative and Sharing Economies (henceforth, CSE) on many aspects of society, then make policy recommendations based on the outcomes of these assessments. The chapter briefly describes the multifarious CSE landscape, then goes on to enumerate the major frameworks currently used to evaluate and assess CSE impacts. It notes that there is no single methodology that can fully capture the wide variety of impacts, but identifies two methods as the most useful: multidimensional assessment, and Theory of Change (ToC) framework analysis. The chapter then elaborates on the benefits and drawbacks of each methodology, before suggesting the use of both methodologies in a mixed format. The authors undertake a brief literature review to examine recent approaches to impact assessment, and focus in on what those approaches have revealed from the points of view of social value, environmental impact, economy, and political impact, concluding with findings about 'rebound effects' in terms of indirect behavioural and other changes caused by CSE initiatives. The chapter maps out a suggested comprehensive inventory for multidimensional assessment, then describes a methodology for assessing the CSE and its impacts via the ToC Framework. It concludes with determining the implications on policy of the impact assessments. This section views policy through the lens of implications derived from the general impact of the CSE, and then via the impact assessment methods and tools derived from the ToC framework. In the first part it assesses considerations that need to be taken by policymakers due to CSE impacts on the market, government, the workforce, consumers, and the environment, and makes recommendations on each. In terms of impact assessment, it recommends more long-term and strategic actions to cope with the ongoing disruption caused by the CSE. In conclusion it recommends a robust and adaptive approach to assessing the impacts caused by flourishing and inevitable growth of the CSE.