Honors Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Christian Sellar

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This thesis investigates the changing regulatory environment around the ride-sharing platform, Uber. As Uber continues to expand, it poses a challenge for existing regulatory systems. This thesis offers a policy recommendation for regulatory agencies under the framework of a Deweyan Democratic Economy. Research was conducted in the three steps: a literature review; quantitative analysis of Uber's wage, demographic, and surge pricing data; and a series of interviews with Uber drivers, consumers, and policy experts. In the literature review, it was found that a company could move towards a more democratic economy by increasing public access to information and economic participation. Analysis of Uber wage, demographic, and surge pricing data offered evidence that Uber does in fact increase access to information and economic participation. The experiences with Uber, characterized by interviews, revealed that primary method of addressing public concerns and increasing public benefit is encouraging a greater number of individuals to drive for Uber, while ensuring the safety of consumers. Given these findings, this thesis concludes with a recommendation that: licensing requirements be kept low, flexible insurance programs are created for Uber drivers, and municipalities have access to the identity of Uber drivers.

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