NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Joseph Golden

Collage.com

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Institutional Affiliation: Collage.com

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2019Steering in Online Markets: The Role of Platform Incentives and Credibility
with Moshe A. Barach, John J. Horton: w25917
Platform marketplaces can potentially steer buyers to certain sellers by recommending or guaranteeing those sellers. Money-back guarantees—which create a direct financial stake for the platform in seller performance—might be particularly effective at steering, as they align buyer and platform interests in creating a good match. We report the results of an experiment in which a platform marketplace—an online labor market—guaranteed select sellers for treated buyers. The presence of a guarantee strongly steered buyers to these guaranteed sellers, but offering guarantees did not increase sales overall, suggesting financial risk was not determinative for the marginal buyer. This preference for guaranteed sellers was not the result of their lower financial risk, but rather because buyers viewed...
May 2019Reputation Inflation
with Apostolos Filippas, John J. Horton: w25857
A solution to marketplace information asymmetries is to have trading partners publicly rate each other post-transaction. Many have shown that these ratings are effective; we show that their effectiveness deteriorates over time. The problem is that ratings are prone to inflation, with raters feeling pressure to leave “above average” ratings, which in turn pushes the average higher. This pressure stems from raters’ desire to not harm the rated seller. As the potential to harm is what makes ratings effective, reputation systems, as currently designed, sow the seeds of their own irrelevance.
October 2012Recruitment of Foreigners in the Market for Computer Scientists in the United States
with John Bound, Breno Braga, Gaurav Khanna
in US High-Skilled Immigration in the Global Economy, Sarah Turner and William Kerr, organizers
 
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