Monday, January 30, 2017
Steven Tadelis, University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) identifies Reputation and Feedback Systems in Online Platform Markets.
Abstract: Online marketplaces have become ubiquitous, as sites such as eBay, Taobao, Uber, and Airbnb are frequented by billions of users. The success of these marketplaces is attributed to not only the ease in which buyers can find sellers, but also the trust that these marketplaces help facilitate through reputation and feedback systems. I begin by briefly describing the basic ideas surrounding the role of reputation in facilitating trust and trade, and offer an overview of how feedback and reputation systems work in online marketplaces. I then describe the literature that explores the effects of reputation and feedback systems on online marketplaces and highlight some of the problems of bias in feedback and reputation systems as they appear today. I discuss ways to address these problems to improve the practical design of online marketplaces and suggest some directions for future research.