EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Incentives Can Reduce Bias in Online Reviews

Ioana Marinescu (), Nadav Klein, Andrew Chamberlain and Morgan Smart

No 24372, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Online reviews are a powerful means of propagating the reputations of products, services, and even employers. However, existing research suggests that online reviews often suffer from selection bias—people with extreme opinions are more motivated to share them than people with moderate opinions, resulting in biased distributions of reviews. Providing incentives for reviewing has the potential to reduce this selection bias, because incentives can mitigate the motivational deficit of people who hold moderate opinions. Using data from one of the leading employer review companies, Glassdoor, we show that voluntary reviews have a different distribution from incentivized reviews. The likely bias in the distribution of voluntary reviews can affect workers’ choice of employers, because it changes the ranking of industries by average employee satisfaction. Because observational data from Glassdoor are not able to provide a measure of the true distribution of employer reviews, we complement our investigation with a randomized controlled experiment on MTurk. We find that when participants’ decision to review their employer is voluntary, the resulting distribution of reviews differs from the distribution of forced reviews. Moreover, providing relatively high monetary rewards or a pro-social cue as incentives for reviewing reduces this bias. We conclude that while voluntary employer reviews often suffer from selection bias, incentives can significantly reduce bias and help workers make more informed employer choices.

JEL-codes: J2 J28 L14 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-ict and nep-lma
Note: IO LS
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Ioana Marinescu & Nadav Klein & Andrew Chamberlain & Morgan Smart, 2018. "Incentives can reduce bias in online employer reviews," Academy of Management Proceedings, vol 2018(1).

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w24372.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Incentives Can Reduce Bias in Online Reviews (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Incentives Can Reduce Bias in Online Reviews (2018) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24372

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w24372

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2021-11-03
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24372