The effectiveness of non-persistent social status as an incentive mechanism

Xuan Wei, Mingyue Zhang, Daniel Dajun Zeng

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Content sharing platforms such as product review websites largely depend on users' voluntary contributions. In order to motivate users to contribute more, many platforms established reputation-based incentive mechanisms. Though the academic community has devoted much effort to study the effectiveness of these mechanisms, most of the existing research has focused on everlasting reputations such as badges and points. It's still largely underexplored how non-persistent social status actually influences user's behavior ranging from contribution level, the opinion they express, to how they express. In this paper, we answer this question by examining data from Yelp Elite Squad where reviewers with good reviewing history are awarded into the elite group and most importantly re-evaluated each year. By applying propensity score matching and difference-in-difference methods, we find that in short term, reviewers significantly increase their contribution levels after acquiring the non-persistent social status, become more conservative with lower percentage of extreme ratings, and also increase the readability of their reviews. In long term, they continue to improve the quality of reviews while their numerical rating behaviors stabilize. Our research has significant implications and actionable insights for business models that rely on user contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2019
Event23rd Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems: Secure ICT Platform for the 4th Industrial Revolution, PACIS 2019 - Xi'an, China
Duration: Jul 8 2019Jul 12 2019

Conference

Conference23rd Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems: Secure ICT Platform for the 4th Industrial Revolution, PACIS 2019
CountryChina
CityXi'an
Period7/8/197/12/19

Keywords

  • Accountability theory
  • Incentive mechanism
  • Non-persistent social status
  • Product reviews
  • Reputation maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems

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