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Motivation for information exchange in a virtual community of practice: Evidence from a Facebook group for shrimp farmers

Guenwoo Lee and Aya Suzuki

World Development, 2020, vol. 125, issue C

Abstract: What is the motivation for sharing useful information among community members? In order to reveal the motivation of information exchanges, we present the case of a Facebook group, which shares common crop practices and the majority of the members are farmers. We construct monthly panel data to addresses the group members’ motivations for information exchange between January 2015 and May 2017. Using data, we find that: As the number of one’s information sharing a month ago increases by one unit, the probabilities of her information sharing and of her inquiry increase by 5% and 1%, respectively. Further, as the number of positive responses one receives from other members (such as the number of “likes”) in the past increases by one unit, the probability of her current information sharing increases by 0.03%. These findings suggest that reciprocity does play a significant role in motivating information exchange even in virtual communities of practice, similar to those in offline communities. We also confirm that professional reputation is one of the motivations for information sharing and that there is a positive effect of peer’s prosocial behavior.

Keywords: Peer effect; Reciprocity; Reputation; Shrimp farming; Virtual community of practice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D80 O33 Q10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104698

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