Gender and the Language of Crowdfunding

Posted: 14 Jan 2015

Date Written: January 13, 2015


In this study, we set out to examine the role of language in the success of online fundraising. In particular, we evaluate the influence of linguistic content on fundraising outcomes, above and beyond type of product or service offered. Online fundraising settings pose an interesting empirical puzzle: women are systematically more successful than men, an outcome contrary to offline gender inequality. We propose that this outcome is partially explained by linguistic differences between men and women in terms of language they use, and we test this mechanism using data from the online crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The results support our theory, suggesting that the institution of crowdfunding may reduce gender inequalities in the fundraising arena by benefiting the communication style of women.

Keywords: gender, crowdfunding, language, institutions, inequality

Suggested Citation

Gorbatai, Andreea D. and Nelson, Laura, Gender and the Language of Crowdfunding (January 13, 2015). Available at SSRN:

Andreea D. Gorbatai (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Laura Nelson

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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