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How Effective are Online Reputation Mechanisms?

Author

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  • Gary Bolton
  • Elena Katok
  • Axel Ockenfels

Abstract

Online reputation - "feedback" - mechanisms aim to mitigate the moral hazard problems associated with spatially distant exchange among strangers by providing traders with the type of information available in small groups, where members are frequently involved in one another's dealings. We compare trading in a market with feedback to a market without, as well as to a market in which the same people interact with one another repeatedly (partner market). We find that, while the feedback mechanism induces quite a substantial improvement in transaction efficiency, it also exhibits a kind of public goods problem in that, unlike the partners market, the benefits of trust and trustworthy behavior go to the whole community and are not completely internalized. We discuss the implecations of this perspective for improving these systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "How Effective are Online Reputation Mechanisms?," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-25, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
    2. Dan Ariely & Axel Ockenfels & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "An Experimental Analysis of Ending Rules in Internet Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 890-907, Winter.
    3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Ockenfels, 2009. "Marktdesign und Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 31-53, May.
    2. Gary Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Bridging the Trust Gap in Electronic Markets," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-26, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    3. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 2007. "The Limits of Trust in Economic Transactions - Investigations of Perfect Reputation Systems," Working Paper Series in Economics 33, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    4. Engelmann, Dirk & Fischbacher, Urs, 2009. "Indirect reciprocity and strategic reputation building in an experimental helping game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 399-407, November.
    5. Dan Ariely & Axel Ockenfels & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "An Experimental Analysis of Ending Rules in Internet Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 890-907, Winter.
    6. Friederike Mengel & Axel Ockenfels & Werner Güth, 2006. "The Dynamics of Trust and Trustworthiness on EBay. An Evolutionary Analysis of Buyer Insurance and Seller Reputation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    7. Werner Güth & Friederike Mengel & Axel Ockenfels, 2007. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Buyer Insurance and Seller Reputation in Online Markets," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(3), pages 265-282, November.
    8. Richard Arena & Bernard Conein, 2008. "On virtual communities: individual motivations, reciprocity and we-rationality," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 55(1), pages 185-208, April.
    9. Gary Bolton & Ben Greiner & Axel Ockenfels, 2013. "Engineering Trust: Reciprocity in the Production of Reputation Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 265-285, January.
    10. Ockenfels, Axel & Roth, Alvin E., 2006. "Late and multiple bidding in second price Internet auctions: Theory and evidence concerning different rules for ending an auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 297-320, May.
    11. Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Reputationsmechanismen auf Internet-Marktplattformen - Theorie und Empirie -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-46, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    12. Dimitri Dubois & Marc Willinger, 2007. "The role of players’ identification in the population on the trusting and the trustworthy behavior an experimental investigation," Working Papers 07-06, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2007.
    13. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1093-1103, September.
    14. Schneider, Frank, 2008. "Multiple criteria decision making in application layer networks," Bayreuth Reports on Information Systems Management 36, University of Bayreuth, Chair of Information Systems Management.
    15. Tim Hoppe & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2007. "An Experimental Assessment of Confederate Reserve Price Bids in Online Auction," FEMM Working Papers 07011, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    16. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Mario Paolucci & Jordi Sabater-Mir, 2006. "Introduction to the Special Section on Reputation in Agent Societies," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16.

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