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Enjoyment motivates people to participate in the sharing economy

Sustainability and enjoyment are at least as important as economic benefits for participating in the sharing economy

Aalto University

People are motivated to participate in the sharing economy because of its ecological sustainability, the enjoyment derived from the activity, the sense of community, and saving money and time. Ecological sustainability is one of the basic principles of the sharing economy - not to purchase everything individually but rather consumer collaboratively by sharing goods and services. Another canonical principle of the sharing economy is 'paying it forward'. However, collaborative consumption may involve the same hurdles as any other type of green consumption, researcher from the Finnish Aalto University have found in a recently published study.

Consumers commonly wish to tie ecological attitudes and consumption habits to their identity as well as to talk positively about green consumption, but these talks do not necessarily translate into action. The Aalto University study shows that there may be some discrepancy in terms of the link between positive attitudes related to the sharing economy and actual participation in it.

Moreover, participating in the sharing economy can, in many cases, become even more expensive and complicated than 'normal' consumption. However, there are many factors, not only the price, that steer the consumer selection of marketplaces and exchange methods,' says the first author of the article Hamari. The research was recently published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.

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An article by Juho Hamari et al. entitled: The sharing economy: Why people participate in collaborative consumption. Hamari, J., Sjöklint, M., & Ukkonen, A. (2015) was recently published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.

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