How Can We Explain the Lag of Japan’s Sharing Economy?

14.05.2019, Vortrag, DIJ Tokyo

Junxi Yao, University of Sheffield

In recent years, the emergence of “sharing economy” has brought people plenty of conveniences to collaboratively make use of under-utilized inventory through fee-based sharing. The topic of the sharing economy has also caught attention in public and academic debate. According to Yano Institute, the size of the Japanese sharing economy by transaction is 0.64 billion USD in 2017 and is estimated to reach only about 1.24 billion USD by 2022, which is relatively weak compared with other developed countries and even some developing countries. The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications also states that the size of Japan’s sharing economy is relatively small. This research tries to seek answers to the question of why Japan’s sharing economy has evolved relatively slowly. Because there is no existing theory to explain the lag of Japan’s sharing economy, this research regards the sharing economy as a new form of process innovation that creates a new way for people to get access to goods and services. Taking a macro perspective theoretically informed by the National Systems of Innovation (NSI) literature, this research adopts semi-structured interviews to acquire in-depth insights from industry insiders.

Junxi Yao is currently a second year PhD student at the University of Sheffield (UK). She holds an MSc degree in East Asian Business from the University of Sheffield and a BA in Japanese Studies from Fudan University (China). She received funding from the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee for her fieldwork in Tokyo.

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