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Knowledge Market Design: A Field Experiment at Google Answers

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  • YAN CHEN
  • TECK-HUA HO
  • YONG-MI KIM

Abstract

In a field experiment at Google Answers, we investigate the performance of price-based online knowledge markets by systematically manipulating prices. Specifically, we study the effects of price, tip, and a reputation system on both an answerer's effort and answer quality by posting real reference questions from the Internet Public Library on Google Answers under different pricing schemes. We find that a higher price leads to a significantly longer, but not better, answer, while an answerer with a higher reputation provides significantly better answers. Our results highlight the limitation of monetary incentives and the importance of reputation systems in knowledge market design. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Yan Chen & Teck-Hua Ho & Yong-Mi Kim, 2010. "Knowledge Market Design: A Field Experiment at Google Answers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 641-664, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:4:p:641-664
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Resnick & Richard Zeckhauser & John Swanson & Kate Lockwood, 2006. "The value of reputation on eBay: A controlled experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(2), pages 79-101, June.
    2. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782.
    3. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 73-93.
    4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 129-137.
    5. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Luís Cabral & Lingfang (Ivy) Li, 2015. "A Dollar for Your Thoughts: Feedback-Conditional Rebates on eBay," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(9), pages 2052-2063, September.
    3. Anya Savikhin Samek & Roman Sheremeta, 2014. "Recognizing contributors: an experiment on public goods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(4), pages 673-690, December.
    4. Regner, Tobias, 2014. "Social preferences? Google Answers!," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 188-209.
    5. repec:spr:elmark:v:27:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12525-017-0252-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dan Li & Longying Hu, 0. "Exploring the effects of reward and competition intensity on participation in crowdsourcing contests," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 0, pages 1-12.
    7. Anya Savikhin & Roman Sheremeta, 2010. "Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 10-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    8. Yan Chen & Grace Jeon & Yong-Mi Kim, 2014. "A day without a search engine: an experimental study of online and offline searches," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(4), pages 512-536, December.
    9. Anya Samek & Roman Sheremeta, 2013. "Recognizing Contributors and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Artefactual Field Experiments 00430, The Field Experiments Website.

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