Negative Peer Feedback and User Content Generation: Evidence from a Restaurant Review Platform

Production and Operations Management (Forthcoming)

46 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2022 Last revised: 4 May 2023

See all articles by Kai Zhu

Kai Zhu

Bocconi University

Warut Khern-am-nuai

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

Yinan Yu

University of Oklahoma

Date Written: May 1, 2023

Abstract

Social technologies are becoming increasingly central to the day-to-day operations of digital javascript:void(0);platforms. In this study, we investigate how negative peer feedback shapes user behavior in an online review platform. Leveraging fine-grained digital trace data of users throughout their tenure on the platform, we find interesting insights regarding the impact of negative peer feedback. First, negative feedback improves user retention on the platform relative to users who receive no feedback at all. Moreover, for users who are retained and write their next reviews, we find that negative feedback improves review frequency and quality. These novel findings demonstrate that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, negative peer feedback can benefit the platform’s welfare as it increases user engagement and retention, and that no feedback can be a worse alternative.

Keywords: feedback mechanism, negative feedback, user-generated content, platform operation

Suggested Citation

Zhu, Kai and Khern-am-nuai, Warut and Yu, Yinan, Negative Peer Feedback and User Content Generation: Evidence from a Restaurant Review Platform (May 1, 2023). Production and Operations Management (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4009873 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4009873

Kai Zhu (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Milano
Italy

Warut Khern-am-nuai

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1G5 H3A 2M1
Canada

Yinan Yu

University of Oklahoma ( email )

Norman, OK
United States

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