Network Effects in Crowdfunding

43 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Paul Belleflamme

Paul Belleflamme

CORE and Louvain School of Management, UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Thomas Lambert

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Armin Schwienbacher

SKEMA Business School

Date Written: September 17, 2018

Abstract

We study the various network effects that are at work on crowdfunding platforms. From a theoretical perspective, we distinguish between network effects that relate to participation or to usage decisions. We use novel entrepreneur-backer data to identify their relative importance on project funding dynamics. We empirically show that backers decide on their usage of the platform based on intra-project activity – as documented by prior work – but also on inter-project activity. In a difference-in-differences research design, we estimate that inter-project network effects account for 2-3% in the increase of contributions that projects generate on a daily basis. Then we find that participation decisions create a positive feedback loop fueling the growth of the platform and explaining how positive inter-project network effects can arise. Our results represent the first attempt in the literature to unbundle the web of network effects on project funding dynamics and suggest that many existing results in the crowdfunding literature are driven by network effects.

Keywords: Crowdfunding, Digital Platforms, FinTech, Network Effects, Multisided Platforms

JEL Classification: D43, G23, L14, L26, L86

Suggested Citation

Belleflamme, Paul and Lambert, Thomas and Schwienbacher, Armin, Network Effects in Crowdfunding (September 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3259191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259191

Paul Belleflamme

CORE and Louvain School of Management, UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
POBox L1.03.01
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, B-1348
Belgium
+32 10 47 82 91 (Phone)
+32 10 47 43 01 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://perso.uclouvain.be/paul.belleflamme/Site/Home.html

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Thomas Lambert (Contact Author)

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.sites.google.com/site/lambertthom

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Armin Schwienbacher

SKEMA Business School ( email )

Lille
France

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