The rationale behind the sharing economy is to gain cost-effective temporary access to services or goods without the need to own the production, especially around transport, short term accommodation and on-demand delivery services, a kind of broking service matching users and providers. Existing businesses like taxis, hire cars, hotels and serviced apartments have traditionally performed these functions.
The sharing economy relies on providing the same services cheaper and more conveniently, but providers usually focus on marginal revenue and variable costs, without considering capital investment, depreciation, insurance and maintenance. Standards of performance, safety, security and insurance may be circumvented.
In the longer term, the sharing economy may actually reduce potential growth as skilled professionals are replaced by amateurs and no-one buys anything until they absolutely have to.