The Sharing Economy: A Shift Away From Ownership? Our Internet-connected world makes it easy for anyone to become an entrepreneur by offering up an unused resource for sale or rent, be it an empty bedroom, a parked car, or a skill. How much of an impact is this culture having on our economy?
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The Sharing Economy: A Shift Away From Ownership?

A man picks up a rental car in in Burlingame, Calif., near San Francisco International Airport this summer. The car was left with the FlightCar company by a traveler who then flew out of the airport. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

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Eric Risberg/AP

A Lyft driver in San Francisco drops off a passenger as a taxi passes by. The smartphone app lets city dwellers hitch rides from strangers. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

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Jeff Chiu/AP

Diners take part in the Herbal Remedy Picnic event, a meal arranged through food sharing site Feastly, in Washington, D.C. Jeff Wilkes hide caption

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Jeff Wilkes

Napster founder Shawn Fanning in February 2001, after a ruling that the free Internet-based service must stop allowing copyrighted material to be shared. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

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Paul Sakuma/AP

Renting out your couches — or your entire place — is powered by San Francisco–based Airbnb, which has now connected more than half a million willing hosts and travelers in more than 34,000 cities. hide caption

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