Spillovers in Networks of User Generated Content – Evidence from 23 Natural Experiments on Wikipedia

66 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2013

See all articles by Michael E. Kummer

Michael E. Kummer

Georgia Institute of Technology; Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim; University of Mannheim - Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics and Management (CDSEM)

Date Written: November 13, 2013

Abstract

Endogeneity in network formation hinders the identification of the role social networks play in generating spillovers, peer effects and other externalities. This paper tackles this problem and investigates how the link network between articles on the German Wikipedia influences the attention and content generation individual articles receive. Identification exploits local exogenous shocks on a small number of nodes in the network. It can thus avoid the usually required, but strong, assumptions of exogenous observed characteristics and link structure in networks. This approach also applies if, due to a lack of network information, identification through partial overlaps in the network structure fails (e.g. in classrooms). Exogenous variation is generated by natural and technical disasters or by articles being featured on the German Wikipedia’s start page. The effects on neighboring pages are substantial; I observe an increase of almost 100 percent in terms of both views and content generation. The aggregate effect over all neighbors is also large: I find that a view on a treated article converts one for one into a view on a neighboring article. However, the resulting content generation is small in absolute terms.

Keywords: Social Media, Information, Knowledge, Spillovers, Large-scale Networks, Natural Experiment

JEL Classification: L17, D62, D85, D29

Suggested Citation

Kummer, Michael, Spillovers in Networks of User Generated Content – Evidence from 23 Natural Experiments on Wikipedia (November 13, 2013). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 13-098. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2356199 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2356199

Michael Kummer (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/kummermannheim/

University of Mannheim - Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics and Management (CDSEM) ( email )

Mannheim, D-68131
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
59
rank
339,648
Abstract Views
468
PlumX Metrics