What's in a (Missing) Name? Status and Signaling in Open Standards Development

31 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2008

See all articles by Timothy Simcoe

Timothy Simcoe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business; NBER

David Waguespack

University of Maryland

Lee Fleming

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit

Date Written: October 2008

Abstract

How much are we influenced by an author's identity? If identity matters, is it because we have a "taste for status" or because it offers a useful shortcut - a signal that is correlated with the likely importance of their ideas? This paper presents evidence from a natural experiment that took place at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) - a community of engineers and computer scientists who develop the protocols used to run the Internet. The results suggest that IETF participants use authors' identity as a signal or filter, paying more attention to proposals from high-status authors, and this has a surprisingly large impact on publication outcomes. There is little evidence of a "taste" for status.

JEL Classification: L1, O3

Suggested Citation

Simcoe, Timothy S. and Waguespack, David and Fleming, Lee, What's in a (Missing) Name? Status and Signaling in Open Standards Development (October 2008). NET Institute Working Paper No. 08-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1287438 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1287438

Timothy S. Simcoe (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Waguespack

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Lee Fleming

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617 495 6613 (Phone)
617 496 5265 (Fax)

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