Sponsored Tasks and Solver Participation in Crowdsourcing Contests

37 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2019

See all articles by Jiahui Mo

Jiahui Mo

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Nanyang Business School

Sumit Sarkar

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Information Systems & Operations Management

Jianqing Chen

The University of Texas at Dallas, Jindal School of Management

Date Written: January 8, 2018

Abstract

Crowdsourcing platforms provide a venue where firms looking for solutions (seekers) and individuals who can provide solutions (solvers) interact with each other. As crowdsourcing contest platforms have grown in popularity with numerous tasks being posted on a daily basis, a concern that has emerged is that many similar tasks compete for solver attention, with some tasks failing to attract sufficient solver participation. To alleviate such a concern, in addition to regular task listings, many crowdsourcing platforms offer sponsorship programs under which seekers pay an extra fee to highlight their tasks in order to draw the attention of solvers. We examine the effect of sponsorship on solver participation using a unique data set collected from a leading crowdsourcing platform. We find that, in sharp contrast to platforms’ claims on the effect of sponsorship on participation, sponsorship does not always boost participation in crowdsourcing contests; sponsorship increases the number of participants only when the prize amount for a task is already high. Furthermore, even when the number of participants increases, the increase primarily comes from low-ability solvers. We also find that when sponsorship increases the total number of submissions, it does so only through increasing the number of participants; in other words, sponsorship does not increase the number of submissions after solvers join the tasks.

Keywords: crowdsourcing contest, sponsorship, all-pay auctions, propensity score matching

Suggested Citation

Mo, Jiahui and Sarkar, Sumit and Chen, Jianqing, Sponsored Tasks and Solver Participation in Crowdsourcing Contests (January 8, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3388758 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3388758

Jiahui Mo

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Nanyang Business School ( email )

Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Sumit Sarkar

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Information Systems & Operations Management ( email )

P.O. Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688
United States
972-883-6854 (Phone)
972-883-6811 (Fax)

Jianqing Chen (Contact Author)

The University of Texas at Dallas, Jindal School of Management ( email )

800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080
United States

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