Disciplinar la economía del compartir

SINGAPUR – La creciente facilidad con que la gente puede intercambiar bienes, servicios y mano de obra directamente a través de Internet está transformando el funcionamiento de las economías modernas. Pero para garantizar que esta ascendiente “economía del compartir” funcione eficientemente y mejore la situación de todos, hará falta algo de regulación.

Ahora la gente tiene medios para eludir muchas de las empresas de servicio tradicionales. Puede compartir medios de transporte mediante Uber, Lyft o RelayRides; ofrecer alojamiento a través de Airbnb; subcontratar tareas hogareñas en TaskRabbit, Fiverr o Mechanical Turk; y organizar la entrega de las compras a través de Favor e Instacart. Asimismo, plataformas de crowdfunding como Kickstarter y Lending Club permiten a nuevas empresas obtener subvenciones, préstamos o inversiones de la población general, en vez de depender de intermediarios financieros.

Al eliminar la intermediación, estas plataformas electrónicas empoderan a la gente, reducen los costos de transacción y crean una economía más inclusiva. Pero su evolución no es para nada sencilla, y el éxito de muchos de estos servicios dependerá de una cuidadosa regulación (como quedó de manifiesto tras recientes protestas y fallos judiciales contra Uber en Europa).

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