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The practice of opening up one’s home to accommodate strangers is not new, but it has been revitalized and expanded through the sharing economy and—in particular—through the technology-based platform Airbnb. Despite marketing itself as a tool to connect people across the world, Airbnb has distanced itself from responsibility to its users and the communities in which it operates. As a leader in the sharing economy, Airbnb should be liable for limited actions of hosts consistent with the externalities generated by transient home sharing. A number of European cities serve as a model for how U.S. jurisdictions can respond effectively to the growing demand for short-term housing through Airbnb while also taking into account the externalities that the platform imposes on the permanent housing market. Moreover, the pervasiveness of Airbnb, and the sharing economy as a whole, exposes deficiencies in the federal laws that govern online behavior, revealing the necessity for such laws to be revisited.


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8 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Comparative and Foreign Law

    • Housing Law

    • Internet Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

  • Volume
    • 39

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 129

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022