Dynamic Effect of Digital Badges in User-Generated Content Platforms

61 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2020 Last revised: 13 Jan 2022

See all articles by Shijie Lu

Shijie Lu

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Ying Xie

University of Texas at Dallas

Xingyu Chen

Shenzhen University - Department of Marketing

Date Written: July 1, 2019

Abstract

User-generated content (UGC) platforms have increasingly adopted digital badges as a key mechanism to incentivize user engagement. Drawing from the extant literature, the authors theorize that digital badges can have an enduring effect on UGC consumption and generation beyond immediate effects because of the impact of digital badges on users’ underlying engagement states with the platform. To understand the dynamic effect of digital badges, the authors develop a bivariate Negative Binomial hidden Markov model of content consumption and generation, and estimate the model using a panel data set from a large UGC platform. The immediate effect of digital badges is positive on content generation and negative on content consumption, suggesting a double-edged short-term effect of digital badges. In the longer term, digital badges encourage both content generation and content consumption. This positive enduring effect applies to users in relatively engaged states but not those in the least engaged state.

Keywords: Online Community, User-Generated Content, Digital Badge, Gamification, Hidden Markov Model, Dynamic Choice Model

Suggested Citation

Lu, Shijie and Xie, Ying and Chen, Xingyu, Dynamic Effect of Digital Badges in User-Generated Content Platforms (July 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3560378 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3560378

Shijie Lu (Contact Author)

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States

Ying Xie

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

Xingyu Chen

Shenzhen University - Department of Marketing ( email )

3688 Nanhai Road, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518060
China

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