Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1596874
 
 

References (1)



 
 

Citations (9)



 


 



The Labor Economics of Paid Crowdsourcing


John J. Horton


New York University (NYU) - Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences

Lydia B. Chilton


University of Washington

March 27, 2010

Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2010

Abstract:     
We present a model of workers supplying labor to paid crowdsourcing projects. We also introduce a novel method for estimating a worker's reservation wage – the key parameter in our labor supply model. We tested our model by presenting experimental subjects with real-effort work scenarios that varied in the offered payment and difficulty. As predicted, subjects worked less when the pay was lower. However, they did not work less when the task was more time-consuming. Interestingly, at least some subjects appear to be “target earners,” contrary to the assumptions of the rational model. The strongest evidence for target earning is an observed preference for earning total amounts evenly divisible by 5, presumably because these amounts make good targets. Despite its predictive failures, we calibrate our model with data pooled from both experiments. We find that the reservation wages of our sample are approximately log normally distributed, with a median wage of $1.38/hour. We discuss how to use our calibrated model in applications.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Labor Supply, Crowdsourcing, Experimentation, Amazon Mechanical Turk

JEL Classification: C93, J30

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Date posted: April 27, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Horton, John J. and Chilton, Lydia B., The Labor Economics of Paid Crowdsourcing (March 27, 2010). Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1596874

Contact Information

John J. Horton (Contact Author)
New York University (NYU) - Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences ( email )
44 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
6175952437 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://john-joseph-horton.com
Lydia B. Chilton
University of Washington ( email )
AC101 Paul G. Allen Center, Box 352350
185 Stevens Way
Seattle, WA 98195-2350
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