As much as positive aspects of CC have been highlighted as well as economic, social and environmental motivations to adopt CC practices, the model does not escape some criticism and limits.
A first concern is related to the sustainability dimension of the concept. While this dimension is used to promote CC, the so-called “boomerang effect” questions its positive impact on the environment as it might lead to an increase in the demand of resources. The car industry illustrates well this potential risk as the low price of accessing a shared vehicle, compared to owning one, might push consumers to increase their use of this polluting mode of transportation while they might have used public greener mobility options such as public transports, bicycles or walking.
Critics to CC also mention the risk of fostering wealth inequality as it is those who can afford to own assets who get extra financial benefits. This is illustrated in the accommodation sector as those who can afford to rent attractive accommodations usually already have a relatively good income.
Another risk of CC is its potential contribution to the precarisation of work for individuals who would decide to live on this model as “it is sometimes unsure even from one hour to the next whether there will be work to do, what it will entail and how much it will pay”. Indeed, these individuals rely on temporary, short-term and task-based contracts, often with a very poor social protection.
Loud critics to CC are the unfair competition it brings in the different sectors in which CC is successful as its activities are lightly or not (yet) regulated. Consequently, companies in CC avoid regulations and can propose lower prices than conventional companies who, in order to legally operate, may need to pay for a licence or be exposed to taxation practices which increase the price of the goods and services.
Sources : Palgan (2017), Ciulli (2019). Schmid-Drüner (2016).