Assessing and Quantifying Local Network Effects in an Online Dating Market
We empirically examine and quantify network effects on a large online dating platform in Brazil. We consider the effects of a seeding intervention by the platform operator, wherein it acquired its primary competitor and subsequently imported the competitor’s 150,000 user accounts over a 3-day period. The acquisition thus constitutes a large exogenous shock the composition of the acquiring platform’s user base. We estimate the effect of the shock on the rate of subsequent enrollments and exits amongst heterosexual users across 120 cities. Bearing in mind that the purchased users were exclusively heterosexual, we employ a difference-in-differences specification in which homosexual enrollment and exit rates serve as plausible controls. Our estimates indicate that the treatment increased the rates of both enrollment and exit, for both genders, with a net positive effect that translated to a 22% increase in short-term revenue for the platform. Further, we find that the response amongst male users was significantly stronger. When we consider that female participation was being fully subsidized by the acquiring platform, this result is consistent with the idea that subsidies and seeding strategies are substitutes, rather than complements. Finally, we explore nuances of the observed effects, quantifying local features. In particular, we show that the treatment effect varied significantly, depending on age differences and the degree of co-location between new and existing users.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1999.
"Distribution-free estimation of some nonlinear panel data models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 77-97, May.
- Wooldridge, J.M., 1990. "Distribution-Free Estimation Of Some Nonlinear Panel Data Models," Working papers 564, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Two‐sided markets: a progress report," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 645-667, 09.
- Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Two-Sided Markets : A Progress Report," IDEI Working Papers 275, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Jean Tirole & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2006. "Two-Sided Markets : A Progress Report," Post-Print hal-00173715, HAL.
- Catherine Tucker & Juanjuan Zhang, 2010. "Growing Two-Sided Networks by Advertising the User Base: A Field Experiment," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 805-814, 09-10.
- Meer Jonathan & Rigbi Oren, 2013. "The Effects of Transactions Costs and Social Distance: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 271-296, July.
- Meer Jonathan & Rigbi Oren, 2013. "The Effects of Transactions Costs and Social Distance: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 271-296, July.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769, March.
- Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-163, March.
- Marc Rysman, 2004. "Competition Between Networks: A Study of the Market for Yellow Pages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 483-512.
- Mingchun Sun & Edison Tse, 2009. "The Resource-Based View of Competitive Advantage in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 45-64, 01.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David H. Autor, 2003. "Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-42, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1605. 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: (Nicholas Economides)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.