Extrinsic Versus Intrinsic Rewards for Contributing Reviews in an Online Platform

Information Systems Research 29(4), pp 871-892.

55 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2014 Last revised: 27 Nov 2020

See all articles by Warut Khern-am-nuai

Warut Khern-am-nuai

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

Karthik Natarajan Kannan

Purdue University

Hossein Ghasemkhani

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Date Written: August 21, 2017

Abstract

Firms have considered various forms of incentives for writing reviews, including the use of extrinsic rewards to attract reviewers. Relatedly, this paper studies the implications of monetary incentives for writing online reviews. We encountered a natural experiment design where one review platform suddenly started offering monetary incentives for writing reviews. We refer to it as the treated platform. Along with data from Amazon.com and using the difference-in-differences approach, we compare the quantity and quality of reviews before and after rewards were introduced in the treated platform. We find that reviews are significantly more positive but the quality decreases. Taking advantage of the panel data, we also evaluate the effect of rewards on existing reviewers. We find that their level of participation after monetary incentives decreases but not their quality of participation. Lastly, even though the platform enjoys an increase in the number of new reviewers, disproportionately more reviews appear to be written for highly rated products.

Keywords: Online review, Economic incentive, Monetary incentive

Suggested Citation

Khern-am-nuai, Warut and Kannan, Karthik Natarajan and Ghasemkhani, Hossein, Extrinsic Versus Intrinsic Rewards for Contributing Reviews in an Online Platform (August 21, 2017). Information Systems Research 29(4), pp 871-892., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2496528 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2496528

Warut Khern-am-nuai (Contact Author)

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1G5 H3A 2M1
Canada

Karthik Natarajan Kannan

Purdue University ( email )

Krannert School of Management
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

Hossein Ghasemkhani

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

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