As Dr Frey concludes, it is perhaps wise to examine the evidence available to us before we succumb to protests and impose restrictions on the ability of Uber and their ilk to practice in our towns and cities.
The effects are complex; while some have seen a loss in income, Uber has created more jobs than it has destroyed, demonstrated by the staggering expansion of self-employment following its introduction.” What's more, employment rose not just in self-employed drivers, but also in traditional taxi services.
Rising Incomes It's also noticeable that Uber drivers were found to earn more than those in traditional taxi services. This is largely due to the fact that the Uber software allows drivers to better optimize their time and services.
In much of the discourse around this issue, the suggestion seems to be that the market is of a fixed size, and therefore Uber drivers are taking income from licensed drivers.
I suspect however, that the reality is that Uber et al have significantly increased the size of the market, especially in off-peak times where dissatisfaction with licensed drivers is at its peak.
It examines the impact Uber has had on the income of taxi drivers in a range of U. For instance, whilst it typically resulted in a fall in income of around 10% among salaried drivers, it resulted in a 50% rise in the number of self-employed drivers in a city.
The authors believe their study represents the first serious look at the impact of sharing economy platforms such as Uber on jobs.This demands a re‑think of existing regulations to provide an even playing field upon which ride providers can compete.Ultimately, regulations on taxis need to be relaxed, and regulations on new providers may need to be increased to ensure that legitimate policy objectives like public safety are met.Of course, fascinating though the data is, it does simplify matters somewhat as it looks at the issue through the relatively confined prism of employment.It doesn't, for instance, examine the total number of journeys undertaken across both licensed taxis and sharing economy platforms.What is central to this exercise is ensuring that regulations are no more intrusive than necessary, so the competitive forces can influence how the industry evolves and innovates.Governments have traditionally regulated taxi services so that they are provided in a safe, predictable, and straightforward manner.The source of the current friction in the Canadian taxi industry is the lack of an even playing field. But then you have new providers who do not follow similar rules.Traditional taxi operators are constrained by regulations. This leaves the regulators, Canadian municipalities and provinces, in a tough spot.Given The Choice If we're in a world whereby the total number of journeys in the "rented driver" market has gone up considerably, then we get into the Public School of Choice field in economics that underpins so much of the apparent rent seeking by the taxi industry.This posits that the gains from restricting practice are highly concentrated, whilst the benefits of not doing so are dispersed.