Handboek Platformeconomie

Beleid en strategie voor de digitale samenleving

Paul de BijlNicolai van GorpGelijn Werner | Boom uitgevers Amsterdam (2023)

Nicolai van Gorp

The emergence of digital platforms has a huge impact on our economy and society. Entrepreneurs are finding new revenue models, consumers benefit from innovations, established companies fear for their right to exist. At the same time, there are concerns about public interests around news, privacy, power and democracy. Digital technology is not the cure-all.

How platforms change companies and markets

The Handbook Platform Economy explains how platform business models are inextricably linked with social impact. How do we, as society and government, steer the platform revolution in the right direction? How do we benefit from platform innovation without undermining public interests?

Based on their expertise in policy, economic research and business models, the authors describe the essence of platforms. Based on theory and practice, they discuss how platforms turn markets and sectors upside down and can thereby support but also harm public interests.

For whom?

An indispensable handbook for professionals and managers in public policy and market surveillance, and for anyone who wants to understand the platform society.


Reads smoothly and provides a good insight into the functioning of platforms based on catchy examples and accessible models’ – Huub Vermeulen, former CEO bol.com

‘Not only recommended for students of economics and public administration, but also policymakers and in fact anyone interested in digital platforms will appreciate this book because of its accessible style and many examples’ – José van Dijck, professor of media and digital society at Utrecht University

‘Extraordinarily clear explanation of the operation and influence of the online platforms that enrich our lives, and at the same time sometimes threaten public interests. Mandatory reading for anyone working on a productive, mature platform economy’ – Michiel Boots, Director General of Economy and Digitization at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy


Tino Meijn – founder of Management Tribune 

This book is truly a handbook. The authors are very complete in their description of everything that has to do with the platform economy and in that respect it is a real textbook that makes you wiser after reading it.

Reasoning from the perspective of market interests, the book provides an excellent outline of how the platform economy works, where things are going well and where not. In case of the latter the book makes a translation into government policy.

Precisely because the book can be used by both market parties and government organisations, the authors build a bridge between the various participants in society. And that’s great. The book is therefore recommended for anyone who wants to participate in the platform economy, understand it better or want to curb it.

Bastiaan Overvest (CPB)

The Handbook Platform Economy provides accessible and well-informed insights into the societal consequences of digitization and the associated policy challenges.

De Bijl, van Gorp, and Werner clarify that platforms are unique companies that can bring about significant changes. There is no guarantee that these changes are purely positive, as the authors rightly write: “[P]rofit maximization does not necessarily align with a socially desirable outcome.”

The book offers a diverse approach that makes it accessible to a broad audience. There is no better introduction to the digital society for the Dutch-speaking region.


Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy


The Handbook Platform Economy offers a unique guide to understanding the role of platforms in the economy, analyzing their impact on society and thinking through the role of government.

We cover various aspects, including the emergence of digital platforms, the influence of major players, the benefits and challenges for users and companies, and possible consequences for societal interests in the context of sectors (labour market and financial sector), risks (power, privacy and democracy) and opportunities (data sharing). In order for policymakers to get a better grip on this, we offer a conceptual framework that helps to find the right balance between the control that is left to platform companies and the need for government intervention.

  • The book can be found here
  • Nicolai van Gorp
  • Paul de Bijl
  • Gelijn Werner