Apples to Oranges: How Category Overlap Facilitates Commensuration in an Online Market Environment
This paper theorizes on how categorical distinctions affect market closure. Contrary to expectations that greater variation in choices allows a buyer to optimize their transactions, I find evidence in a labor market for freelancing services which suggests otherwise. In particular, the less categorical overlap of past experiences of freelancers bidding on a job, the less likely a buyer will choose any of them and the longer it takes the buyer to do so if they eventually do make a decision. Because categories serve to demarcate like-experiences, greater categorical overlap of the past experiences of freelancers makes them easier to compare, thereby facilitating a decision. However, more experienced buyers of services should be more attuned to what skills are valuable for their task. Therefore, I predict that this effect is moderated by increased experience. These hypotheses are tested with data from www.elance.com. Support is found for the two main effects and partial support is demonstrated for the moderation effect.
|Date of creation:||05 Apr 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2521 Channing Way # 5555, Berkeley, CA 94720-5555|
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iir_iirwps/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt7156631b. See general 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: (Lisa Schiff)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.