Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1002763
 
 

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How Does Popularity Information Affect Choices? A Field Experiment


Catherine Tucker


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

Juanjuan Zhang


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

January 10, 2011

Management Science, Vol. 57, No. 5, pp. 828-842, May 2011

Abstract:     
Popularity information is usually thought to reinforce existing sales trends by encouraging customers to flock to mainstream products with broad appeal. We suggest a countervailing market force: popularity information may benefit niche products with narrow appeal disproportionately, because the same level of popularity implies higher quality for narrow-appeal products than for broad-appeal products. We examine this hypothesis empirically using field experiment data from a web site that lists wedding service vendors. Our findings are consistent with this hypothesis: narrow-appeal vendors receive more visits than equally popular broad-appeal vendors after the introduction of popularity information.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: Popularity Information, Observational Learning, Field Experiment, Internet Marketing

JEL Classification: C93, D83, M31

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Date posted: July 26, 2007 ; Last revised: May 26, 2011

Suggested Citation

Tucker, Catherine and Zhang, Juanjuan, How Does Popularity Information Affect Choices? A Field Experiment (January 10, 2011). Management Science, Vol. 57, No. 5, pp. 828-842, May 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1002763

Contact Information

Catherine Tucker
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu
Juanjuan Zhang (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
HOME PAGE: http://jjzhang.scripts.mit.edu
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