Japan Meets the Sharing Economy: Contending Frames
Social Science Japan Journal
The 'sharing economy' epitomized by Airbnb and Uber has challenged business, labor, and regulatory institutions throughout the world. The arrival of Airbnb and Uber in Japan provided an opportunity for Prime Minister Abe's administration to demonstrate its commitment to deregulation. Both platform companies garnered support from powerful governmental and industry actors who framed the sharing economy as a solution to various economic and social problems. However, they met resistance from actors elsewhere in government, the private sector, and civil society, who constructed competing frames. Unlike studies that compare national responses to the sharing economy, we contrast the different experiences and fates of Airbnb and Uber within a single country. Doing so highlights actors, framing processes, and within-country heterogeneity. The study reveals the limits of overly institutionalized understandings of Japanese political economy. It also contributes to current debates concerning Prime Minister Abe's efforts at implementing deregulation during the 2010s.
Airbnb, deregulation, framing, gig workers, institutional change, Japan, political economy, regulatory politics, sharing economy, Shinzo Abe, taxis, Uber
Thomas G. Altura, Yuki Hashimoto, Sanford M. Jacoby, Kaoru Kanai, and Kazuro Saguchi. "Japan Meets the Sharing Economy: Contending Frames" Social Science Japan Journal (2021): 137-161. https://doi.org/10.1093/ssjj/jyaa041