What are social incentives worth? A randomized field experiment in user content generation

Gordon Burtch, Yili Hong, Ravi Bapna, Vladas Griskevicius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Content generation is a critical aspect of user engagement in online communities, yet many platforms face a problem of under-provision. We focus here on the potential of different types of incentives (descriptive social norms and money) to stimulate the production of online reviews. Partnering with a Chinese online clothing retailer, we conducted a large-scale randomized field experiment, in which we considered the independent and joint effects of monetary payment and descriptive social norms on the quantity and quality of reviews. We found that money attracts a greater volume of reviews, descriptive social norms attract greater quality, and combining the two yields the greatest benefit in both respects. We discuss the mechanisms underlying these effects as well as the implications of our results for theory and practice. We also highlight potentially fruitful avenues of future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015 - Fort Worth, United States
Duration: Dec 13 2015Dec 16 2015

Other

Other2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015
CountryUnited States
CityFort Worth
Period12/13/1512/16/15

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Keywords

  • Experimental economics
  • Online reviews
  • Social norms
  • User-generated content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this

Burtch, G., Hong, Y., Bapna, R., & Griskevicius, V. (2015). What are social incentives worth? A randomized field experiment in user content generation. In 2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015 Association for Information Systems.