Let it Flow: Information Exchange in Video Conferences versus Face-to-Face Meetings

48 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2020 Last revised: 15 Jul 2021

See all articles by Hadar Yoana Jabotinsky

Hadar Yoana Jabotinsky

Tel Aviv University - Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law; The Hadar Jabotinsky Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Financial Markets, Crises and Technology (HJC)

Roee Sarel

Institute of Law and Economics, University of Hamburg

Date Written: April 30, 2020

Abstract

Virtual communication has become ever-more important since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, existing evidence on whether video conferences (VCs) are a viable alternative for face-to-face meetings has been mixed, with little attention dedicated to the influence on information flow. Our lab experiment contrasts VCs with face-to-face meetings in order to evaluate information flow in a controlled environment. The findings suggest that although the flow of information itself seems unaffected by the medium, subjective perceptions do differ: face-to-face communications yield a stronger feeling of sharing information. Furthermore, we find some differences between age cohorts, suggesting some heterogeneity of the effects. Our results are relevant for policymakers in the time of Covid-19 as they evaluate the costs of using video conferences in contexts such as board meetings, telemedicine, and microfinance.

Keywords: face-to-face, video conference, virtual teams, social distancing, COVID-19, communication, information flow

JEL Classification: D02, D23, D83, K20, O39

Suggested Citation

Jabotinsky, Hadar Yoana and Jabotinsky, Hadar Yoana and Sarel, Roee, Let it Flow: Information Exchange in Video Conferences versus Face-to-Face Meetings (April 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3589431 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3589431

Hadar Yoana Jabotinsky

Tel Aviv University - Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, IL
Israel

The Hadar Jabotinsky Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Financial Markets, Crises and Technology (HJC) ( email )

29 Ha'Oren St.
P.O Box 80
Timrat, 23840
Israel

Roee Sarel (Contact Author)

Institute of Law and Economics, University of Hamburg ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

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