Availability Cascades and the Sharing Economy: A Critique of Sharing Economy Narratives

  • Sarah NetterEmail author
Part of the The Anthropocene: Politik—Economics—Society—Science book series (APESS, volume 3)


As scholars search for a new concept that will provide answers on how modern societies should make sense of and resolve the social and environmental problems linked to our modes of production and consumption, the sharing economy is attracting increased attention. To better understand this emergent focus on a sharing economy and associated business and consumption models, this conceptual chapter applies cascade theory to some of the most pronounced narratives, suggesting a win-win scenario, especially as they relate to the claim of sustainability. Given academics, practitioners, and civil society’s shared history of (too) rapidly embracing new concepts that enable both business opportunities and a clear conscience, this chapter proposes that the implications of the sharing economy should be critically explored before it is actively promoted as the latest best fix.


Availability cascades Availability entrepreneurs Cascade theory Sharing economy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s)  2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Intercultural Communication and ManagementCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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