Never Too Late? The Role of Visiting Delay in Crowdsourcing Contests
Posted: 23 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 10, 2021
This paper studies the role of visiting delay in crowdsourcing contests – the time elapsed between the start of a contest and a solver’s first visit to the contest. Because crowdsourcing platforms often host multiple contests parallelly, solvers may not be aware of contests when they open for participation. This creates heterogeneity among solvers in terms of their visiting delay and awareness of contest details. We theorize that visiting delay may impact solvers’ submission behavior and performance through two countervailing forces: a deadline effect – an increased intention to participate induced by a tighter deadline, and a time-disadvantage effect – a decreased intention to participate due to the limited time available in the contest. Using a novel dataset from an established crowdsourcing platform, we show the heterogeneous effects of visiting delay on the submission behavior, namely, the time to first submission and the number of submissions, through various empirical analyses. We demonstrate that when solvers have higher levels of visiting delay, the deadline effect dominates the time-disadvantage effect, resulting in a faster submission time initially. However, after the first submission, the time-disadvantage effect dominates the deadline effect, resulting in fewer and slower submissions. Additionally, the deadline (time-disadvantage) effect is amplified (attenuated) by the average contest prize amount in a non-linear manner. Finally, we show that these dynamics affect the solvers’ likelihood of developing an acceptable submission and a winning submission. Our results provide implications for seekers and platform designers in scheduling contests and in designing incentives for managing the effects of visiting delay.
Keywords: crowdsourcing contests, visiting delay, submission behavior, deadlines, incentives
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