Antecedents of trust in the sharing economy

Authors Maarten ter Huurne, Amber Ronteltap, Rense Corten, Vincent Buskens
Published in Journal of Consumer Behaviour
Publication date 2017
Research groups Communication in Digital Transition
Type Article


Users and potential users of the sharing economy need to place a considerable amount of trust in both the person and the platform with which they are dealing. The consequences of transaction partners’ opportunism may be severe, for example damage to goods or endangered personal safety. Trust is, therefore, a key factor in overcoming uncertainty and mitigating risk. However, there is no thorough overview of how trust is developed in this context. To understand how the trust of users in the sharing economy is influenced, we performed a systematic literature review. After screening, 45 articles were included in a qualitative synthesis in which the results were grouped according to a well‐established trust typology. The results show various antecedents of trust in the sharing economy (e.g. reputation, trust in the platform, and interaction experience) related to multiple entities (i.e. seller, buyer, platform, interpersonal, and transaction). Trust in this economy is often reduced to the use of reputation systems alone. However, our study suggests that trust is much more complex than that and extends beyond reputation. Furthermore, our review clearly shows that research on trust in the sharing economy is still scarce and thus more research is needed to understand how trust is established in this context. Our review is the first that brings together antecedents of trust in online peer‐to‐peer transactions and integrates these findings within an existing framework. Additionally, the study suggests directions for future research in order to advance the understanding of trust in the sharing economy.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Journal of Consumer Behaviour
Year and volume 16 6
Key words C2C, collaborative economy, e‐commerce, online trust, sharing economy, trust
Page range 485-498

Maarten ter Huurne

Maarten ter Huurne

Maarten ter Huurne

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Sustainable Communities