How Airbnb and Uber are redistributing wealth in America

Businesses in the sharing economy, like Uber and Airbnb, have had a difficult relationship with local governments, but it may be in officials’ best interests to work with these companies.

In September, Uber was banned in London, where Transport in London (the city’s transit authority), decided that the ride-sharing service wasn’t “fit and proper” to operate. In other words, Uber was doing its job, just not up to the standards of the agency, which oversees the cities buses, subways and taxi cabs.

When it comes to Airbnb, it can’t seem to stay out of the news. The home-sharing service is currently battling local governments in a handful of cities that want to regulate and tax rental listings on the site. The battle over regulation is constant, but the financial impact of the sharing economy for average Americans is undeniable.

At the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit (AMS) NYU’s Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan explained how the sharing economy could redistribute wealth and benefit people with below-average income.

“Over the last five years, if you look at where the Airbnb hosting is in New York City, and who’s generating the revenue associated with Airbnb hosting, it has shifted dramatically out of Manhattan and to the outer boroughs and away from higher income and towards lower income neighborhoods,” said Sundararajan. 

Yale Professor David Schleicher predicts that local governments will actually work in unison with companies like Airbnb because of this.

At the summit, Schleicher shared his belief that cities will eventually hire sharing firms as contractors to provide support to existing services provided by local government agencies. This could include using ride-sharing platforms to transport students in remote rural areas versus paying for an entire school bus to complete that route.

The possibilities are endless, but for consumers to reap the benefits, both local governments and businesses in the sharing economy need to call a truce.

24 PHOTOS
The best Airbnb listings in the world
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The best Airbnb listings in the world

Historic and Elegant Suite in a Former Ryokan 

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan  
Price per night: $165

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Unique 1 bedroom villa in Seminyak 

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia 
Price per night: $96

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

The Brandy Bus - Renovated Bus in Quiet Paradise

Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Price per night: $80

Photo credit: Airbnb.com

Cave with garden at Sacromonte

Granada, Andalusia, Spain
Price per night: $60

Photo credit: Airbnb.com

Holiday in Toscany in the Strettoio

Rignano sull'Arno, Tuscany, Italy
Price per night: $64

Photo credit: Airbnb.com

Luxury room with Taipei 101 View 

Wenshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Price per night: $55

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

SECRET GARDEN SANCTUARY Rio Del Mar 

Aptos, CA, United States   
Price per night: $189 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Vacation house in etno-eco village Humac 

Jelsa, Split-Dalmatia, Croatia
Price per night: $61

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

I SETTE CONI - TRULLO EDERA 

Ostuni, Brindisi, Italy 
Price per night: $82 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Exceptional property private beach 

Governador Celso Ramos, Santa Catarina, Brazil  
Price per night: $81 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Malibu Yurt Retreat On Organic Farm 

Malibu, CA, United States
Price per night: $145 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

PRIVATE 3 BEDR. RIAD, AN EXCLUSIVE RENTAL 

Marrakesh, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco
Price per night: $92 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Tile House 

Twentynine Palms, CA, United States 
Price per night: $185 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Jack Sparrow House, Cornwall 

Helston, Cornwall, United Kingdom 
Price per night: $136 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

A quiet yurt in Savoie - Bauges

Bellecombe-en-Bauges, Rhone-Alpes, France 
Price per night: $84 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Bennu House - Most Romantic Design Villa in Ubud 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 
Price per night: $124 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Unique Cob Cottage 

Mayne Island, BC, Canada 
Price per night: $132 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Off-grid tiny cottage in nature 

Sakuho, Minamisaku District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan 
Price per night: $93 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

NewEarth Haven - Amethyst Crystal Dome 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 
Price per night: $77 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Hidden Gem of Budapest City Centre 

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary 
Price per night: $75 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

OLD TOWN SQUARE, FREE PARKING! 

Prague, Prague, Czech Republic 
Price per night: $82 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

Cubehouse in central Rotterdam 

Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands 
Price per night: $164 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

3 Story Cape Town Penthouse

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa 
Price per night: $116 

Photo credit: Airbnb.com 

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Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. 
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