Volume 90 | Online

Intermediary Institutions and the Sharing Economy

Essay by John Infranca

In Regulating Sharing:  The Sharing Economy as an Alternative Capitalist System, Professor Rashmi Dyal-Chand challenges the assumption–implicit in the fast-growing legal literature on the “sharing economy”–that companies in this sector operate in the manner of traditional firms.  Framing the sharing economy as a “nascent form of a coordinated market economy,” Dyal-Chand calls for regulation rooted in a deeper understanding of the institutions–both the technological platforms most commonly associated with the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, and their ilk) and a burgeoning collection of more organic and democratic organizations—that shape this economy. This short Response focuses on the potential of this second category of institutions to achieve a more equitable distribution of the economic benefits of the sharing economy. 

The Tragedy of the Neutral Ground

Essay by Dave Fagundes

New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebration is justifiably famous as a city-wide bacchanal centered on extravagant parades. But beneath the atmosphere of lawlessness, a surprising degree of order prevails that stops the gatherings from descending from revelry into chaos. This brief Essay explores the spoken and unspoken rules of New Orleans’ Carnival season, focusing on how both law and social norms combine to manage access to and use of the public property along the city’s major parade routes.

Third-Party Beneficiaries and the Nature of Contract

Essay Response by Nicholas Sage

In The Puzzle of the Beneficiary’s Bargain, Nicolas Cornell describes a jurisprudential puzzle concerning contract law’s treatment of third-party beneficiaries and contends that, to resolve the puzzle, we must radically revise our understanding of contractual obligation. This Response raises some difficulties for the revised understanding of contractual obligation that Cornell proposes.