Mapping the sharing economy: a two-sided markets perspective

  • Gennaro Iasevoli
  • Laura Michelini
  • Cecilia Grieco
  • Ludovica Principato
Keywords: sharing economy, sharing consumption, sharing platform, platform taxonomy


Purpose of the paper: Sharing economy is having an increasing impact on traditional markets. Over the years, several terms and classifications have been used by authors offering different interpretations of the phenomenon. However, research on this topic still appears to be fragmented and existing taxonomies do not consider these platforms as working in a “two sided market”. The present study aims to develop a taxonomy of sharing economy platforms that considers the value created both on the supply and demand sides and identify the main tools used to increase network externalities. Furthermore, the paper aims to explore implications for the management of sharing economy platforms that could boost their development and make use of strategic pathways for that development. 

Methodology: A content analysis on a sample of 55 platforms has been carried out, representative of the Italian context. 

Findings: We provide advancement in the field by developing a map able to clarify the different typologies of sharing models. In particular, by using the variables of “value from the supply side” and “value from the demand side” five areas have been identified: utility job platform, collective creativity platform, exchange property, community, and hybrid. 

Research Limitations: The selected sample is limited to the Italian context. Also, the analysis techniques employed require a certain discretion on the part of the researcher. 

Practical Implications: The research provides an overall frame of reference for understanding sharing models and offers managers and entrepreneurs a framework useful for describing potential strategic patterns.

Originality of the paper: We provide advancement in the field by developing a map able to clarify the different typologies of sharing models.


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