Social Equality in the “Sharing” Economy?
The “sharing economy,” also known as the “gig” or “on-demand” economy, is transforming the way people work, eat, commute, and travel by seamlessly connecting suppliers and consumers via app-based technology platforms. It provides flexible income earning opportunities for one side and convenience and low prices for the other. However, it also creates a dizzying array of policy problems for communities of all sizes—from tax evasion and pollution to price discrimination, worker precarity, and violent protests. The Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality (IJLSE), in collaboration with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the Ostrom Workshop, is hosting a symposium at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana to offer and debate solutions to these complex and fast-moving set of challenges. The “sharing economy,” also known as the “gig” or “on-demand” economy, is transforming the way people work, eat, commute, and travel by seamlessly connecting suppliers and consumers via app-based technology platforms. It provides flexible income earning opportunities for one side and convenience and low prices for the other. However, it also creates a dizzying array of policy problems for communities of all sizes—from tax evasion and pollution to price discrimination, worker precarity, and violent protests. The Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality (IJLSE), in collaboration with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the Ostrom Workshop, is hosting a symposium at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana to offer and debate solutions to these complex and fast-moving set of challenges.
Designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research and collaboration, as well as to amplify existing research, the Social Equality in the ”Sharing Economy?” Symposium will consist of a series of keynotes, panel discussions, and paper presentations from a range of voices .
Please fill out the form here to pre-register.
Sessions are scheduled as follows:
Thursday 2/13/2020 at the Maurer School of Law
Moot Court Room, Baier Hall Room 123
Registration 8:30 – 9:00 am
Opening Remarks 9:00 – 9:15 am
Dean Austen Parrish, Maurer School of Law
Session #1: The Fourth Industrial Revolution — Have We Been Here Before?
- Wendy Gamber, Chair and Byrnes Professor, Indiana University Department of History
- Michael Grossberg, Sally M. Reahard Professor of History and Professor of Law, Indiana University
- Janine Giordano Drake, Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University Department of History
- Moderator: Ben Adams (IJLSE Editor-in-Chief)
- Description: From the horse and buggy to the car, from the rotary phone to the smartphone, technology changes our interactions, communities, and regulations. This panel of distinguished historians will start our day by helping us situate the sharing economy within the history of innovation.
Session #2: From Digital to Physical: The Reality of Sharing Economy on Communities
- Beth Rosenbarger, Bloomington Department of Planning and Transportation
- Nicholas Browning, Assistant Professor of Public Relations, The Media School at IU
- Mike McAfee, Executive Director, Visit Bloomington
- Daniel Bingham, Bloomington Community Organizer and Sustainability Advocate
- Moderator: Audrey Brittingham (IJLSE)
- Description: Once we’ve explored the historical context of the sharing economy, we will then zoom in to focus on the real-world consequences of technology platforms on local communities. This panel of regulators, users of sharing economy platforms, and social entrepreneurs, will discuss the impacts of the sharing economy on communities and local regulatory responses.
Keynote: Disrupting Regulation, Regulating Disruption
- Speaker: Veena Dubal, Associate Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law
LUNCH BREAK 12:00 – 1:30
Session #3: Regulatory Disruption, Innovation, and Market Failures
- Abbey Stemler, Assistant Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business and Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
- Lisa Blomgren Amsler, Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Steve Rahko, Lecturer, Kelley School of Business
- Beatriz Botero Arcila, Fellow, Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard University
- Moderator: Liam Williams (IJLSE)
- Description: As sharing economy platforms enter new markets, they often crash through existing regulatory regimes; frequently cloaking themselves in the rhetoric of innovation and the protections of federal immunity, specifically under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This panel will examine these realities and the market failures that result.
CLE Credit Available
Session #4: Of Employees and Independent Contractors: California’s AB5 and Beyond
- Veena Dubal, UC Hastings
- Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Willard and Margaret Carr Professor of Labor and Employment Law, Maurer School of Law
- Leanna Katz, Harvard University LLM Candidate
- Moderator: Aaron Vance (Maurer SBA President)
- Description: The distinction between employees and independent contractors may sound foreign or technical to some, but is critically important to the livelihood and legal protections for gig workers. However, the benefits of “employee status” may be outweighed by the increase in control platforms may exercise, which could reduce the independence and microentrepreneurism some gig workers enjoy. This panel will explore these issues in addition to California’s new rules surrounding gig workers, which attempt to clarify the employee/independent contractor distinction, pushing more gig workers into the employee category, much to the chagrin of most platforms.
CLE Credit Available
- Caroline Bruckner, Managing Director, Kogod Tax Policy Center, American University
- Leandra Lederman, William W. Oliver Professor of Tax Law, Maurer School of Law
- Denvil Duncan, Associate Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Moderator: Doug Stratton (Maurer VITA Clinic)
- Description: The proliferation of companies that connect sellers and service providers with customers, and process payment online and via apps, as well as the increasing prevalence of cashless transactions for work on demand, has raised important questions as to how efficiently our current tax collection system works. This panel will focus on proposals targeted to increase tax compliance and Social Security contributions for Independent Contractors generally—and in particular for the On-Demand Economy workforce—to help combat underreporting of self-employment income and support the solvency of Social Security.
CLE Credit Available
Friday 2/14/2020 at the Kelley School of Business
Morning Roundtable: Big data, Surveillance, Manipulation, and Sharing between Industry and Government.
Breakfast will be served starting at 8:30 a.m., discussion to run from 9:00–11:00
- Description: In this roundtable, we will explore ideas surrounding the tradeoffs and tensions between the sharing of data between regulatory bodies and platforms within the sharing economy. More specifically, we will address questions such as: what data should companies be required to share with governments? What are the ethical and policy implications of data and light-touch regulation bargaining? How might the data acquired by platforms be used to make cities smarter or authoritarianism stronger?
- Sponsored by the Ostrom Workshop Program on Data Management and Information Governance .
The Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equalityserves as an academic forum for scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and students to improve race and gender relations, foster new research in and across the disciplines, and provide an intellectual foundation for the pursuit of social justice.
The Kelley School of Business is consistently named among the top business schools in the world and is home to the Department of Business Law and Ethics, one of the largest and most well-respected departments of its kind. The Department continues Kelley’s strong business law tradition and advances research in a variety of business law fields, especially privacy, big data, and cybersecurity.
The Ostrom Workshop was founded at Indiana University in 1973 by Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and her husband, Vincent. Today, it carries forward their legacy by seeking and sharing solutions to the world’s most pressing problems involving communal and contested resources — from clean water to secure cyberspace. The Program on Data Management and Information Governance was founded in November of 2017 to foster a collaborative, multidisciplinary, multisector, multistakeholder environment in which scholars, policymakers, and industry professionals can work together to translate research findings into effective policy. The program seeks to address issues associated with data management and information governance through the exploration and creation of multidisciplinary structures, policies, procedures, processes, and controls implemented to manage data and information.