The Face of Internet Recruitment: Evaluating the Labor Markets of Online Crowdsourcing Platforms in China

33 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2017 Last revised: 21 May 2018

See all articles by Xiaojun Li

Xiaojun Li

Stanford University - Department of Political Science

Weiyi Shi

University of California, San Diego - GPS (nee IR/PS); University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - 21st Century China Center

Boliang Zhu

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 12, 2017

Abstract

Zhubajie/Witmart and other online crowdsourcing platforms have proliferated in China, and researchers have increasingly used them for subject recruitment. One critical question remains, however: what is the generalizability of the findings based on these online samples? In this study, we benchmark the demography of an online sample from Zhubajie to nationally representative samples and replicate commonly asked attitudinal questions in national surveys. We find that online respondents differ from the general population in many respects. Yet, the differences become smaller when comparison is made with the internet users in benchmark surveys. Importantly, when predicting attitudes, our online sample with post-stratification weights is able to produce similar coefficients in most cases as these internet-active subsamples. Our study suggests that online crowdsourcing platforms can be a useful tool for subject recruitment, especially when researchers are interested in making inferences about Chinese netizens. We further analyze the political and social desirability issues of online subjects. Finally we discuss caveats of using crowdsourcing samples in China.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing, Subject Recruitment, Online Samples, Representativeness, China

Suggested Citation

Li, Xiaojun and Shi, Weiyi and Zhu, Boliang, The Face of Internet Recruitment: Evaluating the Labor Markets of Online Crowdsourcing Platforms in China (July 12, 2017). Research & Politics 5(1): 1--8.; 21st Century China Center Research Paper No. 2017-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3002066 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3002066

Xiaojun Li

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Weiyi Shi

University of California, San Diego - GPS (nee IR/PS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - 21st Century China Center ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive #0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Boliang Zhu (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

University Park, State College, PA 16801
United States

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