KWI – Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (Kulturwissenschaftliches Intitut Essen, KWI)

Project Share Economy and Public Participation in Case of Financial Markets (FinShare)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie
Coordination: Patrick Linnebach

Funded by: German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV)

Duration: 08/2016 - 07/2017

The project, titled “Share Economy and Public Participation in Case of Financial Markets” (FinShare), is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz, BMJV). The project aims to expand the scientific as well as the consumer policy discussion on the consequences of digitization to the field of financial markets. This expansion is seen as necessary with regard to the societal significance of financial phenomena such as crowdfunding, or the growing importance of blockchain technology.

Consumer research on “sharing economy” is until now – according to the slogan of “using instead of owning” – focused on the topic of sharing goods and services mediated by digital platforms. Well-known examples are online platforms that enable people to find and rent (private) vacation homes or to share peer-to-peer a fleet of vehicles (carsharing). Instead, “digital finance” phenomena, such as crowdfunding, are not characterized by the feature of sharing but the feature of participation. With reference to the corresponding work of US-economist Martin L. Weitzman, this is why these phenomena are associated with the field of “share economy”, in addition to the field of “sharing economy.”

Against this background, the FinShare project seeks to understand similarities as well as differences as they are to be observed in the two fields of “sharing economy” and “share economy.” Furthermore, public participation in recent developments in financial markets enabled by digital platforms goes hand in hand with opportunities (e.g. financing sustainable innovation) as well as risks (e.g. complete loss of invested capital): the FinShare project seeks to identify and discuss them in terms of consumer policy challenges.

German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Federal Office for Agriculture and Food

Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung