Study «Sharing Economy – sharing instead of owning»

Sharing instead of owning. Experiment, economise, exchange, go green. These are the catchwords for what we today call the Sharing Economy. This new way of consuming is here, now, it’s talked about, it’s used and studies show that it has promise. It’s also known as the collaborative economy, because the term «sharing» isn’t always appropriate. Its rapid international development is largely due to new communication technologies such as the internet or mobile phones. Many start-ups and platforms have sprung up to facilitate this kind of exchange and bartering. However, little is still known about the real risks and potential that the Sharing Economy might entail, making it difficult to take appropriate political decisions which may lead to conflict.

The main points that the study will address are as follows: it will draw up a map of the Sharing Economy, determine the role of the platform and of digitalisation, define the term worker or simple user, look into the potential for deregulation or regulation and detail the opportunities and risks for Switzerland.

One of the aims of this study will be to highlight the effects already brought about by the Collaborative Economy, whether at the legal, economic, environmental, technical or social level. What opportunities and risks are already quantifiable, which are the grey areas and  what developments might be of major importance in the future.?

In conclusion, the study will present an overall evaluation and on that basis will formulate recommendations for decision makers, especially politicians, on how to deal with this phenomenon.

Duration of the project :

Begins in June 2016, completion expected in July 2017


Final report and summary (available at the end of the project)

Project mandataries


Thomas von Stokar, Managing Director, INFRAS, Zurich

Project team:

  • Martin Peter, employee of INFRAS, Zürich
  • Prof. Dr Kurt Pärli, Professor of Social Affairs and Private Law, Faculty of the University of Basel
  • Alain Kamm, Manager und Head of Empirical Research, FehrAdvice

Project management TA-SWISS:

Elise Gortchacow, TA-SWISS (E-Mail)

Supervisory group

The project in brief

It’s a fact: the «Sharing Economy» has arrived and has already become fairly well established. This new way of consuming is sending shock waves through an economy established several decades ago, shaking our very definition of employment, while also promoting social and environmental slogans. How can we cope with this new reality,how can we minimise the conflicts between this new economy and the old one? What are the roles of these platforms and of digitalisation? What will it mean for Switzerland? The study by TA-SWISS will adopt a forward-looking approach and deal with the innovations and developments expected in this sector. It will highlight the impact that the Sharing Economy might have on society, the economy, the law and ecology in Switzerland.