How Social Motivation Enhances Economic Activity and Incentives in the Google Answers Knowledge Sharing Market

International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-11, 2007

15 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2007

See all articles by Sheizaf Rafaeli

Sheizaf Rafaeli

University of Haifa - Graduate School of Business

Daphne Ruth Raban

School of Business Administration

Gilad Ravid

University of Haifa - Graduate School of Business

Abstract

What are the antecedents, inhibitors and catalysts to providing information and participating in mixed fee-based and free online contexts? We describe the behaviour of about 500 Researchers in the Google Answers online service and over 70,000 questions posed on this system over a 29 month period. Google Answers is a fee-based environment. Answers provided on it are "worth" over $20 (including tips) on average. However, labour economics of response to price and tip alone do not fully account for the online information provision market. Non-monetary incentives, such as feedback in the form of comments predict and explain some of the variance in participation. Descriptive and correlational findings presented here are based on many thousands of answers. We thus corroborate some of the hybrid theories of information provision behaviour presented to date mostly in laboratory settings. The participation of experts in Google answers is associated with a hybrid of material (economic) and social motivators.

Keywords: Information markets, social incentives, economic incentives, knowledge sharing

Suggested Citation

Rafaeli, Sheizaf and Raban, Daphne Ruth and Ravid, Gilad, How Social Motivation Enhances Economic Activity and Incentives in the Google Answers Knowledge Sharing Market. International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-11, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1000847

Sheizaf Rafaeli (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Haifa 31905
Israel

Daphne Ruth Raban

School of Business Administration ( email )

610 Jacobs Bldg
University of Haifa
Haifa, 3498838
Israel

Gilad Ravid

University of Haifa - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Haifa 31905
Israel

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