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AbstractFeedback mechanisms that allow partners to rate each other after a transaction are considered crucial for the success of anonymous internet trading platforms. We document an asymmetry in the feedback behavior on eBay, propose an explanation based on the micro structure of the feedback mechanism and the time when feedbacks are given, and support this explanation by findings from a large data set. Our analysis implies that the informational content of feedback records is likely to be low. The reason for this is that agents appear to leave feedbacks strategically. Negative feedbacks are given late, in the "last minute," or not given at all, most likely because of the fear of retaliative negative feedback. Conversely, positive feedbacks are given early in order to encourage reciprocation. Towards refining our insights into the observed pattern, we look separately at buyers and sellers, and relate the magnitude of the effects to the trading partners' experience.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 62.
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
eBay; reputation mechanism; strategic feedback behavior; informational content; reciprocity; fear of retaliation;
Other versions of this item:
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-10-29 (All new papers)
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.:
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