Racism in the sharing economy: regulatory challenges in a neo-liberal cyber world

Awais Piracha, Rachel Sharples*, Jim Forrest, Kevin Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Elements of the new-age sharing economy rely heavily on the internet, and this includes ride and accommodation services. The sharing systems are both online and offline, generating substantial offline outcomes such as access to scarce urban resources like housing and transport. We provide evidence on how sharing economy platforms like Uber and Airbnb in Australia can unevenly allocate scarce urban resources across racial and ethnic groups. The sharing economy transcends the online and offline worlds, encompassing cyber interactions as well as physical exchanges and presence. Access to real worlds scarce urban resources are determined. A geographical research agenda is advocated, including: audit testing for prevalence; case studies for successful anti-racist regulation; and smaller scale analyses of impacts and pro-social action. We review anti-racist regulation within and from outside the platforms, and press the case for new forms of peer and state regulation in an era of roll-out and roll-back neo-liberalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Sharing economy
  • Racism
  • Neoliberal regulation
  • Disruptive urbanism
  • Cyber racism


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