Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1021450
 
 

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Group Size and Incentives to Contribute: A Natural Experiment at Chinese Wikipedia


Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang


Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Digital Business

Feng Zhu


Harvard University - Harvard Business School

March 18, 2010

American Economic Review, Forthcoming
NET Institute Working Paper No. 07-22

Abstract:     
The literature on the private provision of public goods suggests an inverse relationship between incentives to contribute and group size. We find, however, that after an exogenous reduction of group size at Chinese Wikipedia, the nonblocked contributors decrease their contributions by 42.8% on average. We attribute the cause to social effects: Contributors receive social benefits that increase with both the amount of their contributions and group size, and the shrinking group size weakens these social benefits. Consistent with our explanation, we find that the more contributors value social benefits, the more they reduce their contributions after the block.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: incentives to contribute, group size, public goods, social effects, Wikipedia, Internet censorship

JEL Classification: D85, H44, L14, L31, L86

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Date posted: October 15, 2007 ; Last revised: December 23, 2010

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Xiaoquan (Michael) and Zhu, Feng, Group Size and Incentives to Contribute: A Natural Experiment at Chinese Wikipedia (March 18, 2010). American Economic Review, Forthcoming; NET Institute Working Paper No. 07-22. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1021450

Contact Information

Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang (Contact Author)
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )
Department of ISOM
Clearwater Bay, Kowloon
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
+852-6081-2330 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://mikezhang.com
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Digital Business ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States
Feng Zhu
Harvard University - Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 431
Boston, MA 02163
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=14938
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