The growth of the peer-to-peer (P2P) economy over the last decade has captivated both stock markets and policymakers alike. While the means for transacting might be different to existing firm structures—with the emergence of digital platforms that connect individual buyers and sellers directly—the tax behavior of individuals operating in this new economy are very familiar. What is clear is that while the P2P economy has potentially exacerbated existing policy, administrative, and revenue-mobilization challenges associated with small business taxation—such as the choice of the tax base and how to set tax thresholds—, the technology behind P2P platforms presents a valuable opportunity to eventually solve them.
This paper analyzes the dynamic interactions between the precision of information, technological development, and welfare within an overlapping generations model. More precise information about idiosyncratic production shocks has ambiguous effects on technological progress and welfare, which depend critically on the risk sharing capacity of the economy's financial system. For example, we show that with efficient risk sharing more precise information adversely affects the equilibrium risk allocation and creates a negative uncertainty-related welfare effect, at the same time as it accelerates technological progress and increases R&D investment.