Openness as Platform Strategy - Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Crowdfunding

36 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018 Last revised: 14 Oct 2019

See all articles by Fabian Gaessler

Fabian Gaessler

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Zhaoxin Pu

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Date Written: August 1, 2019

Abstract

In deciding on whether to open up its marketplace for all ventures or to control access, a crowdfunding platform faces an inherent trade-off between market thickness and quality concerns. We discuss how the level of platform openness affects project creators and project backers and test our hypotheses by analyzing the entire ecosystem of a leading crowdfunding platform before and after a policy change. Opening up the platform increased the quantity and variety of projects on the previously access-controlled supply side, but not their novelty. The number of funded projects increased in absolute but not in relative terms. Moreover, the average quality of the funded projects declined immediately, as evidenced by a higher default rate of promised rewards and more complaints from project backers, in particular those with prior crowdfunding experience.

Keywords: crowdfunding, openness, platforms, platform governance

JEL Classification: G24, L13, L15

Suggested Citation

Gaessler, Fabian and Pu, Zhaoxin, Openness as Platform Strategy - Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Crowdfunding (August 1, 2019). Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 18-05 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3133042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3133042

Fabian Gaessler (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

Zhaoxin Pu

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

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