The Value of Reputation on eBay: A Controlled Experiment
AbstractMany empirical studies assess the effectiveness of reputation mechanisms, such as eBay's Feedback Forum. These investigations involve products ranging from pennies to collector guitars; they vary widely in their conclusions on how well reputation systems perform. Part of the explanation for the disparity among prior studies is that they merely collect samples from the eBay population. Such observational studies significantly increase the number of other variables that are left uncontrolled. This makes it difficult to isolate the effects of reputation on auction outcome. In our main experiment, we worked with an established eBay auctioneer to sell matched pairs of items -- batches of vintage postcards -- under his extremely high reputation identity, and under newcomer identities with little reputation. Our second experiment followed the same format, but compared sales under newcomer identities with and without negative feedback. Having controlled the content of the auctions, and the presentation of item information, we were able to minimize the effects of variables other than reputation. As expected, the established identity fared better. The price difference was 7.6% of the selling price. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that this amount is reasonable, given the level of risk that buyers incur. Surprisingly, one or two negative feedbacks for our new IDs had no price effects, even though these sellers had few positives.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp03-007.
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Paul Resnick & Richard Zeckhauser & John Swanson & Kate Lockwood, 2006. "The value of reputation on eBay: A controlled experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 79-101, June.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cabral, Luís M B & Hortaçsu, Ali, 2004.
"The Dynamics of Seller Reputation: Theory and Evidence from eBay,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Luís Cabral & Ali Hortacsu, 2004. "The Dynamics of Seller Reputation: Theory and Evidence from eBay," Working Papers 04-05, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Luis Cabral & Ali Hortacsu, 2004. "The Dynamics of Seller Reputation: Theory and Evidence from eBay," NBER Working Papers 10363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2000. "Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1927, Econometric Society.
- Diamond, Douglas W, 1989.
"Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-62, August.
- John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002.
"The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
- John List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The effects of seed money and refunds on charitable giving: Experimental evidence from a university capital campaign," Natural Field Experiments 00301, The Field Experiments Website.
- John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2003.
"How Effective are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation,"
Working Paper Series in Economics
3, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
- Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2004. "How Effective Are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1587-1602, November.
- Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Hossain Tanjim & Morgan John, 2006.
"...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay,"
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, January.
- Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2006. "...plus shipping and handling: Revenue (non) equivalence in field experiments on ebay," Natural Field Experiments 00270, The Field Experiments Website.
- Doug Bryan & David Lucking-Reiley & Naghi Prasad & Daniel Reeves, 2000.
"Pennies from eBay: the Determinants of Price in Online Auctions,"
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
1736, Econometric Society.
- Doug Bryan & David Lucking-Reiley & Naghi Prasad & Daniel Reeves, 2000. "Pennies from eBay: The Determinants of Price in Online Auctions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0003, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Patrick Bajari & Ali Horta�su, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
- Gary Bolton & Duncan Fong & Paul Mosquin, 2003. "Bayes Factors with an Application to Experimental Economics," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 311-325, November.
- Camerer, Colin, 1996. "Can Asset Markets be Manipulated? A Field Experiment with Racetrack Betting," Working Papers 983, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Cynthia G. McDonald & V. Carlos Slawson, 2002. "Reputation in An Internet Auction Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 633-650, October.
- David Lucking-Reiley, 1999.
"Using field experiments to test equivalence between auction formats: Magic on the internet,"
Framed Field Experiments
00183, The Field Experiments Website.
- David Lucking-Reiley, 1999. "Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1063-1080, December.
- Paul Resnick & Christopher Avery & Richard Zeckhauser, 1999. "The Market for Evaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 564-584, June.
- Daniel Houser & John Wooders, 2006. "Reputation in Auctions: Theory, and Evidence from eBay," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 353-369, 06.
- Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
- Miller, Nolan & Resnick, Paul & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2002. "Eliciting Honest Feedback in Electronic Markets," Working Paper Series rwp02-039, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Eric J. Friedman* & Paul Resnick, 2001. "The Social Cost of Cheap Pseudonyms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 173-199, 06.
- David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
- Jeffrey A. Livingston, 2005. "How Valuable Is a Good Reputation? A Sample Selection Model of Internet Auctions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 453-465, August.
- Sanjeev Dewan & Vernon Hsu, 2004. "Adverse Selection In Electronic Markets: Evidence From Online Stamp Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 497-516, December.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.