Overcoming free-riding in information goods: Sanctions or rewards?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Economic environments involving information goods suffer from an extensive free-riding problem. For example, social loafing and lurking on discussion forums, leeching on file-sharing networks, and pirating of digital goods. Despite their use, it is not clear what types of interventions result in the best outcomes for all players involved. We conduct a lab experiment using a public goods game to explore the role of rewards and sanctions or free-riding behavior at both the individual and group levels. Our results provide interesting insights on the behavior of free-riding and the use of incentives. Interestingly, sanctioning only the worst free-rider results in a significant decrease in free-riding for that player and marginal decreases in free-riding for all others. Rewarding only the highest contributor results in a significant increase in free-riding for everyone. Overall, our research offers significant insights for the design and implementation of interventions for environments having the free-rider problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages4834-4843
Number of pages10
Volume2015-March
ISBN (Print)9781479973675
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015
Event48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2015 - Kauai, United States
Duration: Jan 5 2015Jan 8 2015

Other

Other48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2015
CountryUnited States
CityKauai
Period1/5/151/8/15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Hashim, M. J., & Bockstedt, J. C. (2015). Overcoming free-riding in information goods: Sanctions or rewards? In Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (Vol. 2015-March, pp. 4834-4843). [7070394] IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2015.574