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‘Uberisation’ is the future of the digitalised labour market

Europe and the US are witnessing a trend towards a more diffused production of services. This can be seen in the entry of a new kind of platform-based company into services markets. The driving economic factor behind this development is collapsing transaction costs enabled by new applications of the Internet.

It is a move towards what can be called a ‘People-to-People Economy’ (P2PE), in which self-employed individuals offer services in areas such as transportation, accommodation, cleaning and dining through platforms that connect demand and supply. This article explains, first, the concept of the P2PE and, second, how it has the potential to make the European economy more flexible.

It argues that the centre–right should not oppose, but support this development. The P2PE has the potential to transform European culture and entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, there are plenty of challenges ahead, which require policy responses such as modernising labour legislation, revising outdated regulations, tackling vested interests and providing social security for the growing number of self-employed people.

This article will take an unwaveringly positive approach to the P2PE since this new economy will likely increase the efficiency of service production and lead to gains for the economy as a whole.

Read the full FREE article published in the December 2015 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.