Regulating Short-term Rental Platforms: The Effects of Local Regulatory Responses on Airbnb’s Operations in Europe

Michael Wessel*, Maria Jose Schmidt-Kessen, Philipp Hukal

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Many digital platforms offer services that affect real-world socio-economic processes. One example is the impact of short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb or Wimdu on cities and neighborhoods. Because these platforms often operate in a regulatory void characterized by absent, unclear, or poorly enforced laws and regulations, local governments in affected cities have begun experimenting with a variety of instruments to regulate the operations of short-term rental platforms. In this paper, we report how such locally implemented regulatory responses have affected Airbnb’s operations across 13 European cities over the period from 2015 to 2019. Using a difference-in-difference specification with synthetic controls, we assess the impact of different regulatory responses by disaggregating them into motivations, actions, targets, and outcomes. We find that the effectiveness of regulatory responses differs by type of regulation (restricting or clarifying), type of host (professional or private), as well as the enforcement (with or without the cooperation of the platform operator). Through this work, we add to the ongoing debate on the regulation of digital platforms by presenting both empirical evidence as well as an analytical framework.
TidsskriftIndustrial and Corporate Change
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 10 jan. 2024

Bibliografisk note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 10. January 2024.