Towards Understanding the Socio-Economic Patterns of Sharing Economy in Australia: An Investigation of Airbnb Listings in Sydney and Melbourne Metropolitan Regions
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The rapid uptake of the sharing economy is disrupting many socially established models of services, especially in the housing and transportation sectors. This paper builds upon the growing critical scholarship examining the urban equity implications of the giant online sharing accommodation platform, Airbnb. It focuses on Airbnb listings in two major Australian metropolitan regions, Sydney and Melbourne. The paper raises important questions about the socio-economic patterns of Airbnb offering, and basically asks who is taking part in the sharing. It examines the Airbnb listings against the Census-based Socio-Economic Indexes for Area (SEIFA), and housing tenure data. Findings clearly show the biased distribution of Airbnb listings, presenting Airbnb hosting as a relatively affluent phenomena with education as the strongest socio-economic factor determining host participation on the platform. Nevertheless, areas in strategic tourist locations have been identified as places where Airbnb is having a pressing impact, and where imminent regulatory intervention is required.
Urban Policy and Research
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified