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Social Impact Assessment Framework

Practices in the sharing economy can lead to both positive and negative social impacts: social cohesion vs. gentrification; inclusiveness vs. discrimination; flexible employment vs. exploitation. However, there is no comprehensive framework for understanding or assessing these social impacts holistically. This article aims to improve the understanding of the social impacts of sharing platforms and develop a systematic framework and a practice-oriented tool to assess them. The article identifies four social aspects—trust, empowerment, social justice, and inclusivity—and eighteen indicators that make up the framework. We describe each indicator and its relevance to the sharing economy as well as suggest measurable variables in the form of a practice-oriented tool. The framework and tool are the first holistic method for assessing social impact in the sharing economy, which may inform researchers, sharing platforms, regulators, investors, and citizens to mitigate adverse social impacts while enhancing the overall net social value of the sharing economy.