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Jürges, Hendrik

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Ludwig, Sandra / Schmitz, Hendrik

Ed. by Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.520
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.556

CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.356
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.394

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1935-1682
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Volume 10, Issue 1

Issues

Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Anonymity, Social Image, and the Competition for Volunteers: A Case Study of the Online Market for Reviews

Zhongmin Wang
Published Online: 2010-05-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.2523

Abstract

This paper takes a first step toward understanding the working of the online market for reviews. Most online review firms rely on unpaid volunteers to write reviews. Can a for-profit online review firm attract productive volunteer reviewers, limit the number of ranting or raving reviewers, and marginalize fake reviewers? This paper sheds light on this issue by studying reviewer productivity and restaurant ratings at Yelp, where reviewers are encouraged to establish a social image, and two competing websites, where reviewers are completely anonymous. Using a dataset of nearly half a million reviewer accounts, we find that the number (proportion) of prolific reviewers on Yelp is an order of magnitude larger than that on either competing site, more productive reviewers on all three websites are less likely to give an extreme rating, and restaurant ratings on Yelp tend to be much less extreme than those on either competing site.

Keywords: online reviews; public goods; firm strategy; social image; anonymity; restaurant ratings

About the article

Published Online: 2010-05-21


Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 10, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.2523.

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