Analyse & Kritik
Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory
Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton / Tranow, Ulf
2 Issues per year
Each day, a countless number of items is sold through online auction sites such as eBay and Ricardo. Though abuse is being reported more and more, transactions seem to be relatively hassle free. A possible explanation for this phenomenon is that the sites’ reputation mechanisms prevent opportunistic behavior. To analyze this issue, we first summarize and extend the mechanisms that affect the probability of sale of an item and its price. We then try to replicate the results as found in four recent papers on online auctions. Our analyses reveal that (1) it makes sense to differentiate between ‘power sellers’ and the less regular users, (2) there are variables that have an effect on sales that are often not controlled for, (3) one should carefully consider how reputation is operationalized, ( 4) neglecting heteroscedastidty in the data can have serious consequences, and (5) there is some support indicating that effects differ across auction sites.
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